How does it work

Lightning is a electrical discharge made when tiny bits of ice (frozen raindrops) hit each other. The electric current is very hot and expands very quickly, which makes thunder. About 2000 people are struck every year and 50-100 lightning strikes, strike earth every year.


Benjamin Franklin was interested in lightning and in 1772 he showed people that a thunderstorm lets out electricity.

Types of Lightning

There are three types of primary lightning, Cloud to Ground, Cloud to Cloud and Dark lightning. Cloud to ground is the best known lightning but least common, it is a lightning charge between a thundercloud and the ground, it is the most deadly to humans. Cloud to Cloud lightning occurs between a cloud or clouds without touching the ground. If it goes between two or more clouds it is called inter-cloud lightning. The third primary lightning is Dark Lightning it produces high energy radiation.


If you hear thunder you are within 10km of a thunderstorm, if your hair stands up you are in danger of being struck by lightning. To stay safe look for shelter and stay indoors, don't go in tents. If outside stay in low places, and definently don't use electrical appliances.