Lightning travels up to 87,000 mph (140,000 km/h). If the space shuttle could travel at those speeds, it would reach the moon in 2-and-a-half seconds. Lightning strikes the earth 100 times every second. The odds of being struck by lightning, though, is about 1 in 700,000.
Even so, lightning often strikes the same place twice. And it strikes men about 7 times more often than it does women. Americans Carl Mize and Roy Sullivan should know. Mize was struck 4 times. Sullivan was struck 7 times; he lost his big toenail in 1942, his eyebrows in 1969, had his hair set on fire twice, and the other times suffered slight burns.
They were lucky. Lightning kills more than 50 people every year in the United States. What should one do to stay safe? Follow the National Weather Service advice: “When the thunder roars, go indoors.”
For those who do survive, there is the Lightning Strike and Electric Shock International organization for advice and support.