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About This QuizLightning can strike the Empire State Building as many times as it wants. But when it comes to human tissues and organs, we can't be so cavalier with our safety. The effects of lightning strikes can be deadly -- or at least blow you right out of your shoes. Test your thunderstorm smarts. Are you the most likely to survive?
Which natural disaster causes the most deaths on average in the U.S.?
On average, lightning causes the most deaths in the U.S., beating out tornadoes and blizzards, among other natural disasters.
A bolt of lightning can reach how many volts?
A bolt of lightning can reach a billion volts. A gajillion is not a real number.
How hot can lightning bolts be?
1 million degrees F
54,000 degrees F
Lightning bolts can reach 54,000 degrees Fahrenheit (29,982 degrees Celsius).
450 degrees F
About how many thunderstorms are taking place on the planet right now as you read this?
At any given moment, about 2,000 thunderstorms are taking place on Earth.
What is heat lightning?
lightning that's much hotter than average
lightning that's a mirage
lightning from a thunderstorm too far away to be heard
Heat lightning is still lighting. You can see it, but the thunderstorm is just too far away for you to hear it.
How far from rain can lightning strike?
Lightning can strike as far as 10 miles (16.09 km) away from the rain it's usually accompanied by.
At what time of day do most lightning strikes occur?
Most lightning strikes occur in the afternoon and early evening, between 12 p.m. and 6 p.m.
How fast does the sound of thunder travel?
1 mile per 5 seconds
The sound of thunder travels 1 mile (1.6 km) per 5 seconds.
1 mile per 30 seconds
1 mile per minute
Which of these is NOT part of a boat's lightning protection system?
A boat's lightning protection system (LPS) includes an air terminal and a bonding system. It does not include a flux capacitor. (That was in the DeLorean time machine.)
According to Pliny, what sea creature couldn't be harmed by lightning?
Pliny wrote that seals and bay trees are both impervious to lightning, inspiring Tiberius to wear a crown of bay leaves and Augustus Caesar to carry a sealskin.
The National Weather Service recommends you stay inside how long after the last thunder clap?
You should stay inside for 30 minutes after you hear a storm's last thunder clap.
Most U.S. lightning casualties occur in what state?
Most lightning casualties in the U.S. occur in Florida, "the sunshine state."
Which of these statements about positive lightning is NOT true?
It's less dangerous than negative lightning.
Positive lightning is considered more dangerous than negative lightning. It has a stronger electrical field and a greater flash duration, among other differences.
It has a stronger electrical field than negative lightning.
Its flash duration is greater than that of negative lightning.
Which of these is an example of side flash?
when lightning hits you directly
when lightning hits a tree and then jumps to you
If lightning hit a tree and then jumped from the tree to you, that would be considered side flash.
when lightning hits a tree that you're touching and travels through your hand
What percentage of lightning victims die immediately?
About 20 percent of lightning victims die immediately. Most live, although sometimes with health issues.
What phenomenon protects you from lightning when you're in a car?
The metal frame of your car acts like a Faraday cage, keeping lightning's electrical charge on the surface of the car and leaving its contents unmarked.
What is the study of pathology of lightning in the body?
The name for the study of how lightning affects the body is "keuranopathy."
Which of these things do you NOT do during the lightning crouch?
cover your ears
During a lightning crouch, never lie down. You should, however, put your feet together, squat, tuck your head and cover your ears.
The top of a tower of thunderclouds might be shaped like what?
The top of a tower of thunderclouds is often shaped like an anvil. Underneath that may be a cauliflower shape.
Is lightning always attracted to the tallest object around?
Lightning is always attracted to the tallest object around.
Lightning is always attracted to the shortest object around.
No one can predict where lightning will strike.
Lightning is unpredictable. No one can say with certainty that it always strikes the tallest object, although it often does.
David Shaw/Design Pics/First Light/Getty Images