Gruxg has posted a thread on November 4, 2012, titled as "If you touch a live wire without touching the ground, do you get an electric shock?". I think that this thread would deserve more consideration as it discusses an essential subject but unfortunately it is closed for further replies, so I have to open a separate thread to add some comments. All the web pages about electric shock that I found on the net make the very same statement: you receive an electric shock only if you touch two objects with different potentials. (In case of touching a live wire this criterion is met if you are also grounded.) However, Gruxg pointed out very cleverly that voltage testers indicate current even if you do not touch anything else but the tester. On the other hand, does anyone really believe that if you touch a live wire on the 10th floor then the building material will act like a perfect conductor through ten levels to the ground? I doubt that this would be the case. I consider it much more likely that the human body itself acts like a capacitor, so an alternating current (AC) can flow through it even if it is not connected to anything else. Of course, if you touch another big object, which doesn't need to be conductive, then it will act as the other plate of the capacitor, hence increasing the effect. Then what about those birds standing on transmission lines, which are mentioned everywhere? I think that their case is not the same as touching a live wire in an electrical socket. First, the size of a bird is much smaller than that of a human, so its capacitance is much smaller, too. Second, the resistance of a bird's feet is probably much higher than that of a transmission line. These two things together cause that only a very small portion of the current will flow through the bird's body. But let's suppose that the transmission line is broken (without reaching the ground), meaning that its resistance is practically infinite. Now what will happen if a bird flies on it? Will it get an electric shock or not? This situation is already similar to someone touching a live wire without touching anything else. I guess that the bird will get a shock. If I am right (and Gruxg is right) then it would be beneficial to alter the common theory about this subject.