Fast Facts for Kids
Lightning Facts for Kids

Lightning Facts for Kids

The topic of this web page is lightning (an electrostatic discharge that occurs naturally) and contains 22 lightning facts for kids. In addition to facts about lightning, we provide you with some amazing pictures of lightning and alternate resources with information on lightning. Our lightning facts will help you learn about them, what causes lightning, when lightning is likely to occur, why lightning is dangerous and several other lightning facts.

Our facts about lightning and other lightning related data should help you understand the fundamentals of this naturally occurring electrical event. Start your research on lightning by scrolling down and reading our 00 lightning facts. Following those facts are pictures of lightning and additional resources. We’re always looking to expand the below educational content on lightning, if you have anything you can share or find inaccurate information, please contact us.

22 Lightning Facts For Kids

  1. Lightning is a sudden and powerful discharge of electricity within a thunderstorm.
  2. Lightning is extremely common on Earth, around 44 lightning events occur each second somewhere on our planet. That comes out to about 1.4 billion lightning flashes every year.
  3. Lightning is very dangerous and being struck by or near a lightning bolt can cause serious injury and death.
  4. A single lightning bolt has an average length of two to three miles.
  5. A single lightning bolt on average contains 300 million volts of electricity; for reference a home only uses 120 volts.
  6. A single lightning bolt on average reaches 50,000 °F; for reference that’s five times hotter than the Sun’s surface.
  7. The hot temperatures of a lightning bolt cause rapid air expansion in the atmosphere and create the sound of thunder.
  8. Lightning can be dangerous during heat waves and droughts since a ground strike in a forest could start a wildfire.
  9. There are three different types of lightning, and they are intra-cloud lightning (IC), cloud-to-cloud lightning (CC) and cloud-to-ground lightning (CG).
  10. Intra-cloud lightning is a type of lightning that occurs within a single thundercloud.
  11. Cloud-to-cloud lightning is the type of lightning that occurs between two different thunderclouds.
  12. Cloud-to-ground lightning is the type of lightning that originates in a thundercloud and contacts the Earth’s surface.
  13. The longest lightning bolt ever recorded was over 477 miles long and occurred on April 29th in 2020, over the southern United States.
  14. The Empire State Building in New York City, New York is on average struck by lightning 23 times a year.
  15. The odds of being struck by lightning in an average lifetime is one in ten thousand (1 in 10,000).
  16. Only one out of ten people (10%) struck by lightning will die, the remaining 9 will have various degrees of injury.
  17. A U.S. park ranger named Roy Sullivan was confirmed to have been struck by lightning seven times and survived. He holds the record in the Guinness World Records for the person who has been struck by lightning the most.
  18. In the United States, 3,239 people were killed by a lightning strike between 1959 and 2000, in the same period 13,057 additional people were injured by lightning.
  19. In the United States, lightning is tracked real-time by two different organizations, the National Lightning Detection Network (NLDN) and the Total Lightning Network.
  20. Lightning rods are used on buildings to protect them from a lightning strike. The lightning rod attracts the lightning bolt and when struck the energy is dispersed into the ground via a wire.
  21. One of the first photographs of a lightning bolt was captured by American photographer William Nicholson Jennings on September 2nd, 1882.
  22. A person with an irrational fear of lightning and/or thunder has astraphobia.

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Lightning Pictures

If a picture is worth a thousand words, then the below images will be helpful for your research on lightning. Below are three pictures of the different types of lightning in clouds. These pictures should help you identify the different types of lightning.

Cloud to ground lightning (CG).

A picture of cloud to ground lightning (CG).

Cloud to cloud lightning (CC).

A picture of cloud to cloud lightning (CC).

Intracloud lightning (IC).

A picture of intracloud lightning (IC).

Lightning Resources

We hope you found the above lightning facts, information, data, and pictures both fun and educational. You can continue to research lightning using one of the below additional resources. They were chosen for their credibility and accuracy; you can trust their information when it comes to lightning. Thank you for choosing Fast Facts for Kids.