VIDEO: Witness the Destructive Power of Nature as Lightning Strikes a Tree in Lassen Volcanic National Park, CA

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BOOM! A visitor in Lassen Park’s Kohm Yah-mah-nee Visitor Center caught this video showing just how powerful lightning can be.

The perfectly timed video captures the moment a lightning bolt hits the top of a tree outside, exploding the tree and launching fragments into the air. Sound up…

“1.21 gigawatts!!” ~Doc Brown

It’s true! The average bolt of lightning contains about 1 billion watts of power — or 1 gigawatt. This is equivalent to the power output of more than 3,000 V8 engines.

Lightning forms when a thunderhead cloud, which is negatively charged at its bottom, interacts with positively charged particles on the earth’s surface. These areas of positive charge tend to concentrate in tall objects — like the red fir trees behind the Kohm Yah-mah-nee Visitor Center.

If you were out exploring in Lassen Volcanic NP and you heard thunder in the distance, what would you do? (hint: this is not a trick question!)

video footage courtesy of Akunzhanou Dastan.

#LassenNPS, #SafetyFirst.

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