Still conscious, Sullivan crawled to his truck and poured the can of water, which he always kept there, over his head, which was on fire. Next Up. People wearing slick wet raingear with the hood up, for example, have been known to survive getting struck when the current travels around them through their raingear rather than down through their bodies. On August 7, 1973, while he was out on patrol in the park, Sullivan saw a storm cloud forming and drove away quickly.

Sullivan turned to his car when something unexpected occurred — a bear approached the pond and tried to steal trout from his fishing line. He once recalled "For instance, I was walking with the Chief Ranger one day when lightning struck way off (in the distance).

As he was driving through the park he made out storm clouds gathering in the distance, so he turned around and raced off in the opposite direction.

On top of that, Virginia has a relatively high lightning rate, averaging thirty-five to forty-five thunderstorm days per year. By clicking “I agree” below, you consent to the use by us and our third-party partners of cookies and data gathered from your use of our platforms. He was hiding from a thunderstorm in a, He was hit again in July 1969.

So is this an extremely rare case of a man surviving two direct lightning strikes? Here’s a quick fact: The odds of being struck by lightning for an average person in any one year are around 1 in 500,000 — or 0.000002%. A new viral video shows a man getting struck by lightning during a rainstorm.

The place was about a mile away from the site where he was hit the second time four years earlier. Ironically, a bolt struck him right after the got off the tower, leaving severe burns all over his body, a knocked-off big toenail, a bloody boot, and a hole in its sole. Reportedly, Sullivan’s wife was also struck by lightning once while she was hanging up clothes in the backyard with him.

The lightning hit the top of his head, set his hair on fire, traveled down, and burnt his chest and stomach. Responding personnel even encouraged him to go to the hospital. Sullivan endured loneliness and sadness as most people avoided his company out of fear of being zapped with him, especially during the rainy season. "I got him into the bedroom, put ice packs on his legs because they were just hot and buzzing.". In sunshine, in pouring rain, on the back of a ride-on lawnmower (twice), and even standing innocently on a roofed porch — lightning has a way of finding him. Tropical Trees May Be the Solution to Global Health and Climate Change, Evidence of Female Hunters Debunk "Man-the-Hunter" Hypothesis, 164 Dogs Crammed In a Tiny House In Japan, Minority Scientists and Students Exposed to More Risks During Fieldwork, 5 Sci-Fi Movie Technologies Seeing Real-World Applications, RFID Tracking Is Making Our Supply Chain Stronger than Ever, This Digital Self-Help App May Help Teens Improve Their Mental Health, Home Improvements That Will Cut Energy Costs, About Us  |  Terms & Conditions  |  Privacy Policy  |  Contact Us, (Photo: Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images), ©2017 All rights reserved.

Most of those were males between 20 and 40 years old caught outdoors.[11].

"Most of the current will flow along that arc over the surface of his body," Rakov said. In the United States, 3239 people were killed and 13,057 injured by lightning in the same period. He had been swimming in a lake with his friends when he saw a bolt of lightning strike the other end of the lake, which was about 11 kilometers (7 mi) away. Martin Uman, an electrical engineer also at the University of Florida Lightning Research group, concurs. These numbers do not quite apply to Sullivan, however, who by the nature of his work and his physical location was exposed to more storms than the average person. When he was a child, he was helping his father to cut wheat in a field, when a thunderbolt struck the blade of his scythe without injuring him. He was avoided by people later in life because of their fear of being hit by lightning, and this saddened him. By clicking “I agree” below, you consent to the use by us and our third-party partners of cookies and data gathered from your use of our platforms. The vast majority of the 240,000 people who survive lightning strikes worldwide each year do not actually get hit directly. His only injury was a seared shoulder.

[4] Sullivan was described as a brawny man with a broad, rugged face, who resembled the actor Gene Hackman. The lightning hit a nearby power transformer and from there jumped to his left shoulder, searing it. lightning bolts emanating from storm clouds. Nonkululeko Njilo Reporter. Misener later recalls that when the bolt of lightning hit him, one food was already on Ford's running board while the other was still on the ground. Sign up to get the latest science news delivered weekly right to your inbox! So it’s plausible this was a weak positive bolt originating from the bottom of … What happens if a president loses an election but won't leave the White House? A lightning bolt struck Sullivan yet again, this time in the ankle, as he was walking down the Sawmill Shelter Trail. The South Carolina man has been struck 10 times - and lives to tell the tale. In that case, they can survive and even walk away.". How do people survive getting struck by them? Sullivan was struck on seven different occasions between 1942 and 1977 and survived all of them. This streak of unfortunate experiences harmed him physically, wrecked him mentally, and earned him the nickname “The Human Lightning Rod.”. A new viral video shows a man getting struck by lightning during a rainstorm. Digging through GenealogyBank’s Historical Newspaper Archives the other day, I found this article by weatherman Pat Shingleton about Walter Summerford, a man struck four times by lightning – three times while alive, and once after he was lying in his grave! However, the 50-year-old Canadian declined the offer, feeling well enough on his own. A single lightning bolt can reach 5,000 degrees Fahrenheit — which is roughly half the temperature of the sun’s surface. Fortunately, little Roy escaped unharmed. Please deactivate your ad blocker in order to see our subscription offer. The structure, which didn’t have a lightning rod, had already been hit several times, so Sullivan decided to leave, afraid his life was in danger. For this reason, he gained the nicknames "Human Lightning Conductor" and "Human Lightning Rod". Sadly, what didn’t kill Sullivan didn’t precisely make him stronger either. Virginia, where he lived, averages 35 to 45 thunderstorm days per year, most of which fall in June, July, and August. And catch fire again he did. RELATED: Survivors Describe What It Feels Like After Being Struck By Lightning. Their relationship is electric. Now Playing. You also agree to our Terms of Service. It was reported that he saw a cloud, thought that it was following him, tried to run away, but was struck anyway. It then crossed over to his right leg just below the knee. New York,

He then rushed to the restroom, but could not fit under the water tap and so used a wet towel instead. In spring 1972, Sullivan was working inside a ranger station in Shenandoah National Park when he was struck again. Sullivan's wife was also struck once, when a storm suddenly arrived as she was out hanging clothes in their back yard. [6] Two of his ranger hats are on display at two Guinness World Exhibit Halls in New York City and South Carolina. He immediately ran to the restroom where he managed to put out the fire using soaked paper towels. She’s cautious because Melvyn has been struck by lightning 11 times in around 12 years, and they both reckon he’s got every chance of being hit again. While it's extremely rare that someone survives a direct lightning strike, those who do can typically thank this same flashover effect. "I reached in to turn on the ignition, and just as I had done that, bam!" Sullivan stated that he actually saw the bolt that hit him. Remembering he left his truck windows down, he slipped on his pair of camouflage Crocs and went out. Roy Cleveland Sullivan (February 7, 1912 – September 28, 1983) was a United States park ranger in Shenandoah National Park in Virginia. "The feeling is like this intensity that I've never felt legs just felt like they had been blown apart," Misener said, adding that he saw the underside of his truck and the road turn into a "bright orange" color. These numbers do not quite apply to Sullivan, however, who by the nature of his work and his physical location was exposed to more storms than the average person. Man dies after being struck by lightning in Gauteng. Positive lightning bolts seldom flicker much and leap 10 times faster than negative lightning.

Paramedics later checked Misener's vitals a couple of times, noting elevated blood pressure and heart rate but exhibiting no injuries. RELATED: Catastrophic Lightning Kills More Than 100 People in India. As gentle rain was falling, Sullivan suddenly heard a loud noise: a bolt entered the building through the window, setting his hair on fire. He started working as a ranger in Shenandoah National Park in 1936. Additionally, he started carrying a can of water around all the time should he ever catch fire again. © Soon after, he was struck by a lightning bolt. Safety & Prep. "This is called a flashover. But because he could not prove the fact later, he never claimed it.[4].

[8][9] Sullivan himself recalled that the first time he was struck by lightning was not in 1942 but much earlier. With the sole exception of Sullivan’s allegedly first encounter with a lightning bolt, all strike episodes were documented by the superintendent of Shenandoah National Park, R. Taylor Hoskins. Probably not, the experts say. [3], Tony was born in Greene County, Virginia, on February 7, 1912. Use up and down arrows to change selection. "The chance of survival in the case of a direct strike is essentially zero," Rakov told Life's Little Mysteries, a sister site to LiveScience. Unusually, he was hit while in his truck, driving on a mountain road—the metal body of a vehicle normally protects people from lightning strikes by acting as a. For Sullivan, that hit was the last straw. Coronavirus. This final strike was the most devastating: He suffered burns in the chest and the digestive tract up to the stomach, and hearing loss in one ear. To make matters worse, as he was recovering from the shock, he was attacked by a bear going after the trout he’d caught. Statistically speaking, Sullivan’s job as a park ranger made him considerably more exposed to storms than the average person, making lightning strikes a form of occupational hazard. Advocate (Baton Rouge, Louisiana), 2 … Still conscious, he crawled back to the truck and retrieved the can of water, putting out the fire on top of his head for a second time. visible on his. At that moment, a lightning bolt hit him on top of his head, setting his hair on fire for the third time. Virginia, where he lived, averages 35 to 45 thunderstorm days per year, most of which fall in June, July, and August. A man in South Carolina has been hit 12 times.

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