The scientists then carried out a comparative experiment: One head was exposed to the electrical discharges in a dry state, while another had previously been sprayed with artificial rainwater. On the wet artificial head, there were fewer perforations and less severely damaged areas in the vicinity of the lightning strikes. In addition, the recorded currents to which the brain was exposed were lower on the wet head than on the dry one, which is why it was exposed to much less stress. From both results, the scientists concluded that the chance of survival of a person whose head is struck by lightning is significantly higher if the scalp is wet. Nevertheless, lightning discharges pose great dangers and a protected environment should be sought as quickly as possible.
Original publication:Machts, R., Hunold, A., Drebenstedt, C. et al. Rain may improve survival from direct lightning strikes to the human head. Sci Rep 14, 1695 (2024). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598’023 -50563-w
Prof. Jens Haueisen Head of the Biomedical Engineering Group
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