A single storm can produce over 5000 lightning strikes

One bolt could travel around the earth at the equator more than twice in one second

A bolt of lightning can be 5 times hotter than the surface of the sun.

Over 200 bolts strike the earth each second


"Every Second, 200 bolts of lightning strike the earth. But four

times as many bolts shoot through the sky without ever reaching

the ground. Bolts of either kind may stretch as little as 200 feet

or as much as 20 miles.

Astronauts have seen lightning from space. They’ve spotted bolts that stretched 100 miles

Most lightening never touches the ground…but cloud to cloud




"There was lightning everywhere and I pointed to the sky and lightning flashed and all of a sudden I had a second skin, of lightening, electricity, like a suit of electricity, and I knew it was in us to be superheroes and that we could become super heroes or nothing."

Ken Kesey



"The lightning bolt is the irresistible power of truth by which illusions, lies, are annihilated; and again, more deeply read, the power of eternity through which phenominality is annihilate. "

Joseph Campbell



"We are like someone in a very dark night over whom lightning flashes time and time again. "




"There was a gentle rain, but no thunder until suddenly one big clap-the loudest thing I've ever heard. Fire was bouncing around the ranger station , and when my ears stopped ringing I heard a sizzling noise. It was my hair on fire. Asked if there was ever any warning before lightning struck Sullivan" answered, "Well, you can tell, but it's too late. You can smell sulphur in the air, and then your hair will stand up on end , and then it ' s going to get you. You don ' t have time to do anything. "

*Retired Park Ranger Roy C. Sullivan has lived through seven direct hits



"Then Zeus thundered and at the same moment hurled a bolt of lightning upon the ship. Her timbers all shivered at the shock of the Javelin of Zeus. She filled with choking sulphur and brimstone smoke: her crew pitched out of her. For one instant they rode black upon the water, unborn like sea- fowl on the heaving waves past the black ship. Then the God ended their journey home. "


T.E. Lawrence translation



"The distant black clouds had approached, a dazzling blue streak of lightning flashed, and the thunder growled threateningly. Veronica shivered. She had grasped something of the great battle of the spirits in this world and the other. "

Three Candles for Little Veronica



"-For his awareness of an extraordinary thing that was lightning in his mind. He saw in a flash, as if these were Skies on the horizon, under a black abstract sky, the occasion for desperate celebration (it didn't matter he might be the only one to celebrate it) recede, while at the same time, coming closer, that could only be, What was-Good God! -his salvation..."

Malcolm Lowrey

Under the Volcano


"Some folks draw lightning, suck it like cats suck babies’ breath. Some folks’ polarities are negative, some positive. Some glow in the dark. Some snuff out. You now, the two of you…I-"

Ray Bradbury

Something Wicked This Way Comes



"The gods of the storm burst forth with one of the grandest electrical displays ever witnessed and for an hour the heavens were lit with living fire. The thunder rolled and as the storm moved westward toward Cheyenne Mountain a thousand fiery thunder-bolts reverberated through the canyons and rolled over the plains. The storm lessened slightly within an hour. The curtain of clouds parted."

Facts July 8,1899



"In that brief, momentary glimpse within the heart of the lightning, haloed, in fact, by its wet shine, I had seen a human face of so incredible a nature as still to amaze and mystify me as to its origin."

The Man Who Saw Through Time

Loren Eisley



"We wander through this life together in a semi-darkness in which none of us can distinguish exactly the features of his neighbor. only from time to time, through some experience that we have of our companion, or through some remark that he passes, he stands for a moment close to us, as though illuminated by a flash of lightning. then we see him as he really is."

-Albert Schweitzer



"In a single instant, one of those flame-lit revelations which destroy the natural world forever and replace it with some searing inner vision which accompanies us to the end of our lives. "


Loren Eisley



"Just think, Mary, of being caught by thunder storms: Is there a sight more wonderful than that of seeing the elements producing life through pure motion?'

Kahlil Gibran's letter

May 24, 1914



"Mary, what is there in a storm that moves me so? Why am I so much better and stronger and more certain of life while a storm is passing? I do not know, and yet I love a storm, far more, than anything in nature.' " '

Kahlil Gibran

Blue Mountain Arts

Boulder, Colorado



"Like a flash of initiatory knowledge, lightning comes of itself and is followed by the roar and tumult of awakening life and rain--the rain of grace."

Joseph Campbell



"Yes; but it is like a running blaze on a plain, like a flash of lightning in the clouds. We live in the flicker--may it last as long as the old earth keeps rolling!

Heart of Darkness

Joseph Conrad


"Hi! Ni! Ya! Behold, the man of flint, that's me!

Four lightings zig-zag from me, strike and return.

Behold the man of flint, that's me! I'm he!

Everywhere my lightning’s strike they plow the foeman under!

The ancient folk with evil spells, dashed to earth, plowed under!"

Ancient Navajo chant/prayer

The Indians Book

by Natalie Curtis Burlin



"A flash of lightning brightened the open window. It was followed by solemn thunder that made the glass shelves in the store shudder faintly. Pretty soon it darkened up, and begun to thunder and lightning. ..and directly it began to rain, rained like fury, too, and I never seen the wind blow so. It was a summer storm. It got so dark it looked blue-black outside, and lovely; when it was the bluest and blackest--fst! It was as bright as glory, and you'd have little glimpse of tree tops a-plunging about away off yonder in the storm, hundreds of yards further than you could see before; dark as sin again in a second, and now you'd hear the thunder let go with an awful crash. Rumbling down the sky.

Mark Twain


"But suddenly the sky was cleft by a fiery bolt, and the church bore the power of its might. The crash of thunder was almost simultaneous. The sky darkened from a humid blue to a sulfurous dimness. Flame flickered about the doorway of the church. "

Madeleine L' Engle

A Swiftly Tilting Planet-


" I Find scarce anything, among all the works of nature, was so sweet to me as thunder and lightning; formerly nothing had been so terrible to me. Before, I used to be uncommonly terrified with thunder, and to be struck with terror when I saw a thunderstorm rising; but now on the contrary it rejoices me."

Jonathan Edwards


"There is something weird and yet nothing unreal about this man whose happiest moments are during an electric storm when the wires snap about him and light up on all sides, when is would seem his life is in danger. No man will dought a man like this when he says, "I will be heard from."

(description of Nikola Tesla)

The Colorado Springs Evening Telegraph Oct 7,1899



"On this night he had wrested the power of heaven from the sky.

He had stood for a fleeting moment with lightning in his hand."

(description of Nikola Teslas experiment in Colorado Springs

July 4, 1899)

Lightning in His Hand

The Life Story of Nikola Tesla

By Inez Hunt & Wanetta Draper

Omni Books


"But the time has come; the revelation has already occurred, and the guardian seers have seen the lightning strike the darkness we call reality. And now we sleep in the brief interval between the lightning and the thunder. "

William Irwin Thompson

At the Edge of History


"Thunder is good, thunder is impressive; but it is lightning that does the work. "

Mark Twain



"And as he weighed out the winds, and measured the sea,

And appointed laws to the rain,

And a path to the thunder,

A path to the flashes of the lightning!"

Job ,Chap 28


"In the lightning flashes of our stormy age we see men and things in all their nakedness. Nations and individuals reveal their plans, strengths, weaknesses, and passions. Routine is of no possible use in the rapidly changing conditions of life. The conventions fall like ripe ears of corn."

Albert Einstein


"Nowadays is, indeed, lit by lightning, a plague has stricken the moths, and Blanche has been ‘put away’….

Tennessee Williams



"I got a letter from a lightning rod company this morning trying to put the fear of God in me, but with small success. Lightning seems to have lost its menace. Compared to what is going on earth today, heavens firebrands are penny fireworks with wet fuses."

E.B. White (1940)




Book: "Tesla: Master of Lightning" by M. Cheney & R Uth

Book: "Homemade Lightning, Third Edition: Creative Experiments in Electricity" by R.A. Ford

Book: "Lightning Man: The Accursed Life of Samuel F.B. Morse" by Kenneth Silverman


© 2001



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