When lightning strikes sand it melts, or fuses, sand particles together. The National Severe Storms Laboratory notes that when lightning hits the ground, it fuses clay and dirt into silicas, which often results in a glassy, black rock, known as a fulgurite.Know More
Fulgurites are shaped like convoluted tubes, which leave shapes that follow the paths of lightning currents where they entered the ground. This results in fulgurites, which is a Latin word for lightning rocks. When lightning hits a tree and travels down the trunk, water below the bark converts into steam. If this steam reaches under the bark’s surface, the steam expands at a rapid rate and is able to blast out particles of bark, which often kills the wood in its path.
Lightning can benefit the Earth in a number of ways; one of the most important being that lightning is able to assist the Earth in maintaining its electrical balance. The Earth receives a recharge from thunderstorms. The atmosphere and the surface of the Earth conduct electricity readily as the atmosphere is charged positively and the Earth negatively. Without lightning and thunderstorms, the electrical balance in the Earth’s atmosphere would disappear. In addition to the above, lightning contributes to ozone-producing chemicals.Learn more about Storms
Lightning starts when the atmosphere becomes electrically charged. This occurs when opposite charges begin building between the clouds and the ground.Full Answer >
Thunder is caused by lightning, so it cannot happen independently. The loud cracking sound of thunder occurs when lightning raises the surrounding air temperature by thousands of degrees, causing it to rapidly expand and compress, according to SciJinks.Full Answer >
The longest lightning bolt ever recorded traveled a distance of 118 miles. The average length of most lightning strikes is said to be only six miles, although bolts have been known to travel up to 50 miles away from their parent storm.Full Answer >
Lightning can originate within a thunderstorm cloud and from the cloud to the ground. Intra-cloud lightning is basically a large spark of electricity that occurs between the positive and negative charges in the cloud with the air working as an insulator. Cloud-to-ground lightning works in the same way, the difference being that one of the charges is located in the cloud and another on the ground.Full Answer >