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. After all, 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 and lightning can strike twice or even thrice or hundreds of times in the same place, like the Empire State Building of New York for example, which gets hit about 25 times a year.

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

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 (3)
  • CaseyS-Kut
    3/24/2015 - 07:25 p.m.

    lighting is something we will never understand. lighting we no how it happens just not were, there are sevral reasons why we don't go out in thunder storms like one of the reasons is because well, we could get struk by lighting. knowing that someone was sruck by lighting 7 times shows you
    lighting can strike one place more than twice

    • Richie-stol
      2/22/2017 - 06:43 p.m.

      dido

  • myahr-orv
    3/21/2017 - 07:47 p.m.

    Lighting is something we will never understand and lighting we know how it happens just not were, there are sevral reasons why we don't go out in thunder storms like one of the reasons is because well, we could get struk by lighting. knowing that someone was sruck by lighting 7 times shows you lighting can strike one place more than twice.

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