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Lightning dangers examined: It can reach temperatures hotter than surface of sun

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An impressive lightning show was on display in the Denver metro area on Monday, July 7, 2014. (Credit: Mike Minter)

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DENVER — Lightning has been in the headlines a lot lately, given recent deaths and tragedies caused by forces of nature. In recent years, Colorado has had the third highest rate of lightning deaths in the country.

A single blast of lightning is so powerful, it can create temperatures hotter than the surface of the sun, according to the Denver Museum of Nature and Science.

“There’s a lot of places where the tallest object around is you. And when you’re in a situation where you’re the tallest object, you’re the most likely, statistically to get struck by lightning,” explained Brian Hostetler, an instructor with the museum.

Best chances of survival, according to Hosteler, is to stay low to the ground and be indoors if you can.

“Even if you’re not directly being struck by the lightning if a tree gets struck by lightning near you, that heat is enough to burn you,” he explained.

Lightning can blitz a person’s body and affect their central nervous system, potentially killing someone.

To learn more about lightning, follow this link.

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