Mobile phone user hit by lightning!

  • Thread starter Tribulus
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Main Question or Discussion Point

Hey, is this really possible?


If yes then should I avoid using mobile phones outside or even in-car?
Seems to me that there should be some danger signs on phones then...
Mobile phones=potential killers?
 
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Answers and Replies

  • #2
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Hey, is this really possible?


If yes then should I avoid using mobile phones outside or even in-car?
Seems to me that there should be some danger signs on phones then...
Mobile phones=potential killers?
I don't see why it would be impossible for a mobile phone user to get hit by a lightning. But I seriously doubt phone has any role in that.
 
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  • #3
SpectraCat
Science Advisor
1,395
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Hey, is this really possible?


If yes then should I avoid using mobile phones outside or even in-car?
Seems to me that there should be some danger signs on phones then...
Mobile phones=potential killers?
Yeah .. coz it was the mobile phone that injured him. Please.

If you are standing outside when conditions for a lightning storm exist, you are a potential target. The act of using a cell phone may increase your chances of being struck to some degree, but not as much as say, holding a metal umbrella over your head. Do you want to slap a warning label on umbrellas too?
 
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  • #4
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You are safe unless:

1) You smell ozone, or
2)You see corona (St. Elmo's Fire) on the tip of the antenna (or other nearby objects), or
3) You hear a crackling sound of sparks, or
4) You feel a tingling of electricity on your ear (or your hair).

These are all well-known warnings that mountain climbers watch out for on mountain peaks.

Bob S
 
  • #5
SpectraCat
Science Advisor
1,395
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You are safe unless:

1) You smell ozone, or
2)You see corona (St. Elmo's Fire) on the tip of the antenna (or other nearby objects), or
3) You hear a crackling sound of sparks, or
4) You feel a tingling of electricity on your ear (or your hair).

These are all well-known warnings that mountain climbers watch out for on mountain peaks.

Bob S
Out of curiosity, what course of action is recommended in the above scenarios, especially if you are clinging to the side of a mountain? I guess throwing one's self flat on the ground would work on flat ground, but that's not much of an option if you are a couple thousand feet up ...
 
  • #6
QuantumPion
Science Advisor
Gold Member
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Out of curiosity, what course of action is recommended in the above scenarios, especially if you are clinging to the side of a mountain? I guess throwing one's self flat on the ground would work on flat ground, but that's not much of an option if you are a couple thousand feet up ...
I think you are supposed to grab your ankles and stick your butt up in the air, that way the current will go through your legs and not vital organs. Don't quote me on that though :)
 
  • #7
mgb_phys
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I guess throwing one's self flat on the ground would work on flat ground,
Nope, if there is a lightning strike nearby then there will be a large voltage difference between your head and feet and so current will flow through you.
You are supposed to kneel and crouch down so you are only contacting the ground over a small spot and you are low to the ground with no pointed bit of you facing up to give a point to hit.
 

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