Yesterday, I was sitting in my studio office—basically a converted garage—while a thunderstorm brewed outside. After wrapping up a conference call with some of Ars’ finest, I was getting ready to dive back into work when the storm really picked up. “Ahhhh,” I thought as I leaned back in my chair to stare out at the strange greenish light against a purple-clouded backdrop. “So beautiful!”
At that moment—and this part is a little foggy—a bright arc of electricity shot through the window and directly into my chest. I’m not sure whether the arc originated from the sky or the ground, but it knocked me out of my chair. I hit the concrete floor and bounced back up to my feet, which were shuffling at top speed into a bookshelf. I remember thinking, “OK, going to die now. Do not fall down. Do not pass out.”
I’ve read that being struck by lightning is akin to a being hit by a huge defibrillator. I’m not sure about that—but it did feel magnitudes worse than the time I touched an electric fence as a kid.
OK. Think about that. He was inside his house, and was struck by lightning. That makes me feel a whole lot better. Not.
An interesting clue: his grandmother was struck by lightning — twice.
Does science know if some people are more susceptible to this ultrarare occurrence than others? Why would that be?