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Old 09-15-2019, 04:32 PM   #2094
lwcamp's Avatar
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: The plutonium rich regions of Washington State
Default Re: Real-Life Weirdness

Originally Posted by Anaraxes View Post
Outside of Annona, Texas, a lightning strike from a thunderstorm killed 23 cows. The bolt hit one cow, and ran along a metal fence, killing the whole row of cows and calves that had been lined up along it.

"A weird little detail", you're thinking, "but there's not much there to game. It happens, right?" Oh, you're more right than you realize.

A lightning bolt kills 23 cattle in Odisha, India.

Lightning kills 23 cattle in Waterford, Ireland.

Just something to keep in mind the next time you're ordering something from Evil Stevie on Warehouse... 23.
Quadrupeds are particularly susceptible to lightning strikes (at least compared to bipeds). A significant danger from lighting (and from downed power lines) is that you get a voltage gradient across the ground, from a very high voltage right at the point of the strike fading away to "ground" voltage far away. Since it is differences in voltage that drives current, something standing on the ground near the strike will have its feet in different places each with a different voltage, which will drive an electric current up one leg and down the other. If it is a human or other biped, well, it can be dangerous but the current path doesn't go right through the heart. For cows or other four-legged things, though, the current path does go through the heart. That's why you sometimes get news stories about entire herds of reindeer being electrocuted by a lightning bolt or similar things.

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