Lightening bolt demolishes tree.
Lightening bolt demolishes tree.

Wild footage out of Augé in western France where a lightning strike dropped a large tree in a split second. This serves a great reminder to never seek shelter under trees during a lightning storm (being under a tree is the second leading cause of lightning casualties)

Lightning strikes on trees are caused by two primary factors. Their height, trees are often the tallest structures in their surroundings, making them natural lightning rods. Also their conductivity, trees have high water content which makes them better conductors of electricity than the surrounding air (10,000 x greater than air). The sap and moisture inside trees provide a path of least resistance for the electrical current.

Remember folks, let this serve as a PSA to never hide under a tree when there is lightning in the area. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has a grim axiom about it: Better to get wet than fried! If there is no shelter available, it is best best to get as low to the ground as possible, find a depression in the ground or a ditch and seek refuge there.

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