Lightning strike "completely fries" car with family inside as they film the wild moment in slo-mo
St. Petersburg, Florida - A woman happened to film the terrifying moment when lightning struck her husband's car, as he and their three children were inside.
Fun fact: If lightning strikes a car, it acts like a Faraday cage, which means that the electricity is diverted around the passengers inside the vehicle, protecting them.
Nevertheless, it is still a frightening experience, especially for a whole family to go through.
Michaelle Whalen was riding in a car following behind an SUV being driven by her husband, Edward Whalen, when she happened to capture the moment lightning struck their ride on Friday night.
The group was on their way to their hotel in St. Petersburg, Florida, when the unexpected happened, and Michaelle captured the moment by chance while trying to take photos of the storm.
"She kept trying to snap pictures, she couldn’t catch it," Edward told Gatmash News. "So my son-in-law recommended she use that slow motion video. That’s when she caught the big moment."
The video of the blast is truly incredible, and looks like an explosion hit.
But what happened to the family inside the truck?
The car was "completely fried" by the lightning strike
Incredibly, the Whalen family was only mildly affected by the strike.
"You could feel a slight buzz in the car when it hit us, and then my oldest daughter was sitting next to me and she jumped halfway in my lap and screamed," Edward explained.
"She yelled, 'Daddy, what happened?' and I said, 'We got hit by lightning.'"
Fortunately, no one was hurt, but the SUV was "completely fried" by the lightning strike.
"We were really confused. We had real bad headaches," Edward said, adding, "That was always my dream truck, and I finally got it. I had just made my third payment on it and then boom."
If you ever find yourself in a vehicle during a lightning storm, you are most likely safe inside because of the car's Faraday cage-like qualities. The metal conducts the electrical charge along the outside of the car's frame and then into the ground, so nothing can penetrate inside.
Yet, it's important not to touch any metal parts of the car to keep yourself protected, and to not park in an elevated area during a storm.
As the Whalen family explained, the rare experience of getting struck by lightning is "pretty wild."
Cover photo: 123RF/bwzenith