How hot is lightning?

Published: Jul 26 2011 04:09:11 PM EDT

The temperature of the air around a bolt of lightning is about 54,000°F (30,000°C), which is six times hotter than the surface of the sun.

Even with the extreme heat many times people survive being struck by a bolt of lightning.

In cloud-to-ground lightning, its energy seeks the shortest route to Earth.

Which could be through a person's shoulder, down the side of the body, through the leg, and to the ground.

As long as the lightning does not pass across the heart or spinal column, the victim usually does not die.

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