April 18, 2016

Have any people survived direct hit lightning strikes?

It seems that more people that are hit by lightning survive than die (although they are usually severely injured). Is this because they didn’t take a direct hit, but were in the vicinity that the lightning bolt struck? Has there been any instances of a person surviving a direct hit?



You are correct. It’s estimated that only 10% of people struck by lightning are actually killed from it. Many people take a direct hit from a lightning bolt and have lived to talk about it.

The main cause of death is heart failure. The heart runs on electrical impulses and a several million volt shock can cause the heart to stop. It’s estimated that 80% of those whom have died from strikes could have been saved if there was someone nearby to perform CPR.

So, not only have people survived direct strikes, some have survived multiple hits. I believe the record is 7…


This depends if the lightning was an upstroke or downstroke. Upstrokes are 100% fatal, but those are rare unless you are at the edge of a cliff or the top of a mountain. Downstrokes are usually survivable, and most people survive them but are severely injured.

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