Does lightning ever strike twice? (Thinkstock)
Does lightning ever strike twice?
Lexile

You asked us, does lightning ever strike twice?

The old saying lightning never strikes twice is supposed to be reassuring. Well. You had this one stroke of really bad, bizarre luck. But that means the odds of it ever happening again must be zero, right?

Wrong.

Very, very wrong.

Lightning strikes the Earth about 50 times a second. It can strike twice or even three times or hundreds of times in the same place. Take the Empire State Building for example. Its in New York and gets hit about 25 times a year.

And as for people? Just be really glad you're not Roy Sullivan. Poor Roy was a park ranger at Shenandoah National Park. He was struck by lightning seven times in his lifetime.

Here's a real buzz kill for you. In the US, more people are killed by lightning than tornadoes and hurricanes put together. Seriously.

For more stories like this, check us out every day at smithsonian.com.

Critical thinking challenge: If lightning strikes the earth many times per second, why don't we see lightning more often?

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COMMENTS (45)
  • santij-Nim
    3/24/2015 - 03:20 p.m.

    I think we don`t see it often cause i happins in the amizon and rain forest cause it storms more by water and thunder makes lighting.

  • lamplj-Nim
    3/24/2015 - 03:20 p.m.

    I cant belie the empier bulding almost 500 tims

  • prairiej-Nim
    3/24/2015 - 03:21 p.m.

    what I lerned today that the empier state building got struck by lightning 25 times and did not cach on fire.

  • huddls-Nim
    3/24/2015 - 03:21 p.m.

    This is so cool. I can't believe that peploe die more with lightning not with tornadeos .

  • obeida-Nim
    3/24/2015 - 03:21 p.m.

    I think that we dont see lightning because it happen at amozon

  • whitec-Nim
    3/24/2015 - 03:22 p.m.

    What I thought was cool was that every second lighting strike.

  • mccraa-Nim
    3/24/2015 - 03:22 p.m.

    I think we do not see the lightning because it moves.

  • aaronm-Nim
    3/24/2015 - 03:23 p.m.

    that was weird but that man was a beast a boss but it was strange lighting can kill you and it is dangerous .

  • prudet-Nim
    3/24/2015 - 03:23 p.m.

    We don't see lightning that much because maybe they be striking the Empire state building because it's a huge building that it will be easliy struck.

  • martit-Nim
    3/24/2015 - 03:23 p.m.

    we bont see litning so oftin because it ranse in difrent stats and it striks where its raning at

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