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Name: jeans
Status: student
Age: 19
Location: N/A
Country: N/A
Date: 2000-2001

If lightening strikes water, what happens to the fish? Do the ones just near the surface die, or only the ones near where the lightening struck....or do they all die...or are they all ok? Just wondering. Thanks!


Certainly some of the fish die near the lightning strike point. However, it is hard to say how large an area of the water is affected as the energy in a lightning flash can vary over a factor of 10. Because water is a good conductor of electrical energy, the horizontal distance that the lightning energy would travel along the water surface could be large. If I were in a metal boat within a hundred feet of a lightning strike, I would probably get a pretty good shock if I had my bare hand on the boat. The depth of water affected also depends on the amount of energy in the stroke.

David Cook
lightning researcher
Argonne National Laboratory

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