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Sep 22, 2010

Can lightning strike the same place twice?

"Lightning never strikes twice." This often quoted phrase has been around for hundreds of years, although it has been proven false on several occasions.

According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) lightning does just the opposite of the myth and often strikes the same place repeatedly. This is because certain structures attract lightning better than others. On their page devoted to lightning myths, they point out that the Empire State Building is hit about 25 times per year.

Several people have also been struck multiple times by lightning. The Guinness Book of World Records lists a Virginia Park Ranger named Roy Sullivan as the man who has received the most lightning strikes, having survived 7 strikes over the course of 35 years.

According to National Geographic, the odds of being struck by lightning in an average person's lifetime is about 1 in 3,000.



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