Fear Fest: [Ride The] Lightning!

OCTOBER 14th, Lightning

“Electricity is really just organized lightning.”
-George Carlin

We may think we own this planet, but we’re really just guest of Mother Nature. If she wanted us gone, she wouldn’t even have to break a sweat. Today’s fear is something that we’ve all seen and heard. Astraphobia is the intense fear of thunder storms. While this fear knows no gender lines, it’s interesting to know that men are nearly 5 times more likely to be killed by a lightning strike than women. Kind of a weird stat huh? Well, you have the rest of the article to figure out why. If you already know, then don’t be a spoil sport, keep it to yourself.

Prevalent in young children and dogs, the astraphobe will often cower during intense storms. Children will often outgrow the fear is handled correctly. The best way to teach a child not to fear lighting is to show them that you are not afraid of it. If allowed to feaster and grow, astraphobia can lead to some interesting habits, usually an obsession with weather. If you live in a particular stormy part of the world, this can grow to full on agoraphobia (fear of outdoors).

For me, lightning has always been cool. My parents used to sit on the porch during storms and watch. To me it really is the last bit of magic left in the world. It’s caused by molecules we can’t see rubbing up against each other. And the sound you hear? It’s the sound of similar molecules rushing to fill the void left by its departed brothers. We can simulate rain, we can duplicate wind gusts, but for all out technology, we can’t get enough juice concentrated in one spot to duplicate a lightning bolt.

Many ancient cultures thought lighting was the weapon of their gods. Between Zeus, Thor, Indra, Perun, Teshub, Raijin, Shango, and countless others, lightning has always been portrayed as a hero’s weapon. One of the reasons may be the rare phenomenon pictured above. It’s called a dirty thunderstorm. In short it occurs when a volcano erupts. The volcano throws particles in the air with such force that the friction creates lighting. Volcanoes used to be though as portals to a realm of evil. If you witnessed a dirty thunderstorm, what else would you think other than your benevolent god sending his most trusted weapon to stop demons from ripping your loved ones apart.

THE ANSWER: Much like aquaphobia, astraphobia is best tackled when the subject is a child. Most children will outgrow it as they understand the danger to them is minimal. Oh, and the reason men are struck and killed nearly 5 times more than women … golf. Most lighting strikes occur on golf courses, and men play gold recreationally more than women. So you may want to stay out of situations where you are out on an open hill with no cover holding a metal pole.