Florida, and South Florida in particular, is considered the lighning capital of the US. With as much outdoor activity as we have down here it is frankly a surprise to me that there aren't lighning strikes more often. The land is relatively flat so any tall object (ie a giraffe) is going to be susceptible.
>The land is relatively flat so any tall object (ie a giraffe) is going to be susceptible
wahoo, I don't believe something so obvious has ever made me laugh so hard before. I can picture antelope moms quickly herding her kids up... 'hurry, kids, get under geoffrey... its safer under there!'
Actually, under something tall is the most dangerous place to be unless it is designed to provide protection. The classic animal death by lightning happens when cows seek shelter under a tree that is struck by lighting. Renderers usually get a sudden jump in business after a particularly violent storm due to this.
That is the common human death too. People hide under a tree that is either knocked down on top of them or they are shocked through the root system. Your best bet is to lie flat on the ground if you can't get indoors.
Oohh.. poor giraffe! I wonder how this happened? Don't they have like giraffe housing for storms? That's a shame. Does anyone know of any coasters that have gotten struck by lightning? I heard MF got struck once, but no one was on it. Anyone know anything?
Coasters, get struck basically all the time. Well, at least tall ones. There big huge pieces of metal 200-300ft in the air. Power Tower gets struck on a regular basis too i believe, along with Space Needle. Also, Dragster was struck the night before media day.
In related news, the family of the giraffe is suing Disney, as the park did not provide adequate warning nor safety facilities during the storm. The family was quoted as saying "Hey, it works in Ohio."
I was just at CP last week and by coincidence, the subject of lightning striking TTD came up as I waited out another "mechanical diificulty". A park manager told me that TTD does indeed get struck on a regular basis, sometimes as much as several times a week, but there is, most obviously and of course, a lightning rod at the top and it quickly dissipates the energy safely. Of course riders are, in general, safe from said strikes as the park knows well in advance when lightning is within 20 miles and shuts it down immediately.
Steel roller coasters don't need a lightning rod since the whole structure is a conductor. Several supports are grounded via a thick cable welded to them at the footing (try and spot these cables the next time you're in line). When a coaster is struck, the charge naturally takes the shortest distance to ground through the structure so riders are almost always safe
*** This post was edited by Rollerhammer 7/25/2003 5:27:42 PM ***