The Garden Guide

Book: Gardening Science - Soils, Manure and the Environment
Chapter: Chapter 4: Weather and Climate

Lightning is an electrical explosion

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1415. Lightning is an electrical explosion or phenomenon. Flashes of lightning are usually seen in broad and undefined masses; when their path appears angular or zigzag, they are reckoned most dangerous. They strike the highest and most pointed objects in preference to others, as hills, trees, spires, masts of ships, &c.; so all pointed conductors receive and throw off the electric fluid more readily than those that are terminated by flat surfaces. Lightning is observed to take and follow the readiest and best conductor; and the same is the case with electricity in the discharge of the Leyden phial; whence it is inferred, that in a thunder-storm it would be safer to have one's clothes wet than dry. Lightning burns, dissolves metals, rends some bodies, sometimes strikes persons blind, destroys animal life, deprives magnets of their virtue, or reverses their poles; and all these are well-known properties of electricity.