Lightning - Fascinating to watch, but dangerous

The powerful natural phenomenon of lightning and thunder has been fascinating mankind ever since. In Greek mythology, Zeus, the Father of Gods, is seen as the dominion of the sky whose power is often envisioned as a lightning bolt. The Romans attributed this power to Jupiter and the continental Germanic tribes to Donar, known to the North Germans as Thor.

For a long time, the enormous force of a thunderstorm was associated with a supernatural power and humans felt at the mercy of this power. Since the Age of Enlightenment and the advancement of technology, this heavenly spectacle has been scientifically investigated. In 1752, Benjamin Franklin’s experiments proved that the phenomenon of lightning is an electrical charge.

Meteorological estimations say that about 9 billion lightning flashes occur each day around the world, most of them in the tropics. Nevertheless, the number of reported damage as a result of direct or indirect lightning effects is on the rise. The lightning information service (BLIDS) from Siemens detects lightning strikes in Germany.