300 Reindeer Killed in Lightning Strikes

The power of nature cannot go unnoticed. Dreadful calamities occur. Earthquakes, floods, drought, lightening, tornadoes, and hurricanes are examples of catastrophes that happen due to the forces of nature. Recently, a herd of over 300 reindeer was hit by lightening in Norway and died. This single event has sparked complex discussions about how this could have happened. As a means of survival during storms, reindeer huddle together for warmth and to protect each other from predators lurking around them.

Lightning experts noted that lightning does not strike one point, but an area. As much as the flash of the lightning hits a particular point, the electric current radiates out as ground current. This type of current is very deadly and is suspected to have electrocuted the herd. Explaining the occurrence to the New York Times, John Jensenius, a lightning expert gave the following account.

“When the electric discharge from the lightning strike hits the ground, it quickly searches for places to flow. The reindeer, each with four hooves, provided the necessary pathway for the current to flow. The current went up one leg, stopped the heart and flowed out of the reindeer through another leg. The greater the distance between two legs, the greater chance that electricity will force its way through them.”

This extraordinary event happened in Norway. Ground current barely affects humans because we are often in footwear and the distance between our legs is quite small. The reindeer in a radius of 80 to 130 feet from the point of the strike experienced the ground current leading to cardiac arrest.

Bizarre deaths following a lightning strike have been recorded in the past with 53 pigs and 143 goats in China, over 15 bulls in Scotland. More bizarre are two lightning strikes killing over six hundred sheep in Utah, U.S.A. Mid-year 2016, over seventy thousand people died from lightning strike complications in India.

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