Incredible video of a lightning bolt disintegrating a tree outside a high school yesterday

Originally published at: Incredible video of a lightning bolt disintegrating a tree outside a high school yesterday | Boing Boing


Sounds bad. I’m saying no. Sucks that so many people share their content this way.


So the camera is being set up, adjusted and focused on the tree a second before it’s hit by lightning?


Or, someone using their phone to record a video playing on a monitor … the unusually good job of cropping out the edges of the screen was misleading for me at first, as well. There’s a hint of the bezel in the top right at the beginning.


But, but, I saw pixels!

Okay, yeah, that makes sense. Man, I’ve seen trees with the bark blown off, but I’ve never seen a tree just disassembled like that.


Where have I seen this before? Oh, yeah.


That’s just real impressive, existence to oblivion in microseconds, erased in an eyeblink! That’s what science fiction Ray guns were supposed to do, Zap! You’re gone


Did Zeus do it because Thor was busy?



Long, long ago at my high school we had a math teacher who absolutely Could.Not.Abide the term “cancel” [1] when used to remove a common factor from the numerator and the denominator of a division. Everyone knew, but people forget. (Bear with me.)
This being early in the year in Phoenix, the summer storm season was still in full roar; the classroom was on the upper level and for whatever reason – maybe just that we all loved the storms – the steel shutters had not been closed. Besides, the old pecan trees along that edge of campus were decorative.

A student was at the blackboard (this being long before whiteboards) working an algebra problem and did the unforgivable: they struck two term and said that they “canceled.” And everyone was about to hold their breaths as the teacher blew up: “Never SAY CANCEL” and at that very moment, with thirty-plus witnesses, lightning splintered the pecan tree just outside the window with an deafening (and window-shattering) KA-BOOM.

Nobody was hurt, fortunately, and since my father (a principal at another school in the district) already “cleaned up” the pecans every year, he and I spent much of the weekend cleaning up the wreckage. The glass was someone else’s problem, but it was a long, long time before anyone at that school used the term “cancel” again.

[1] Perhaps a Republican ahead of her time.


That would explain the slow-motion, frame-by-frame nature of the event itself paired with the normal-speed wobbling and finger moving away from the lens at the start…


Reminds me of my calc 3 teacher my freshman year of college. I can’t remember the exact situation but during one lecture it was something to the effect of: “you can’t take the square root of a negative number because your paper will start on fire.” I may have the math problem wrong but the result was fire.

This is the same prof who’s favorite problem was the dog problem and once when the bio class in the neighboring lecture hall start some rather uproarious laughing he put his chalk down, look at us deadpan, and said: “you know they’re talking about sex.”



Many years back I was standing at the end of one of my fair-to-middling city’s Light Rail platforms waiting for a train. This particular platform was at the edge of a well-manicured university campus with many young trees planted about.
As I casually looked around, a small bolt of lightning struck a sapling which could not have been 50 feet away. It was late spring and the tree was covered with fresh leaves, about half of which were blown off flaming like a firework explosion.
I quickly walked back onto the platform and finished my wait under the large (and hopefully well-grounded) canopy.
I felt sad for that poor tree. It still seemed to be intact, but I don’t know if it survived or not.




“He hates these trees!”


Thank you, I was wondering why someone had a phone shooting video in anticipation of the tree being blown to splinters; I did think they might have been trying to film lightning during the storm, because I’ve done that. Or tried to…


Ahh, thank you. I couldn’t put my finger on why this video seemed so odd. I was starting to wonder if it was fake.


My (aircraft engineer) Dad was all about the health and safety all the time and one of his myriad things was not using the phone in a lightning storm.

But he wasn’t there all the time, and one day teenage me was having one of those hours long teenage telephone conversations, the phone attached to the wall with a long curly cable, my ass reclining in a plastic chair and my bare feet well and truly earthed on the cold cast-iron stove, while a summer thunderstorm raged outside.

Suddenly, there was an enormous TWAAACKK as I got slapped across the side of the head with presumably a lot of volts but fortunately little in the way of amps.


yes, and you can clearly see the handheld camera shake during the second-long periods during which the lightning bolt and tree parts were magically frozen floating in mid air