Next time you are in a thunderstorm, skip the soundtrack on your personal music player. The reason is not aesthetics â€” it is safety.
A case in point is a 37-year-old, iPod-wearing Canadian man, who was struck by lightning recently. The manâ€™s doctors, Eric J. Heffernan, MB, and colleagues say as the man was jogging during a thunderstorm, a lightning bolt hit a tree that he was passing.
As lightning often does, it jumped from the tree to the man in a phenomenon called a side flash, throwing the man 8 feet away.
Fortunately for humans, the skin has high resistance to electric current. Unless something interrupts the flow, the lightning is often conducted over the surface of the body â€” a â€œflashover.â€
This did not happen to the jogger. His iPod did not draw the lightning strike. But when the flashover hit, the iPod, resting against the manâ€™s sweaty skin, drew in the powerful electric current.
The man had burns along his chest and neck where his earphone wires lay. The insides of his ears also were burned and then the ear buds conducted the current into his head.
The manâ€™s jaw was broken on either side. His eardrums burst and the tiny bones inside his ears were dislocated. One inner ear canal filled with blood.
Doctors were able to set the manâ€™s jaw from the inside and repair his eardrums.
Keep away that iPod during thunderstorm