Lighting scars on eyes of man blinded by electric shock


Reading the article, it sounds like the juice went in his shoulder, and came out his eyes with “concurrent damage to the optic nerve and retina”.

I’ve taken more volts than that, but it didn’t shoot out of my eyes. Holy carp.


You’re lucky they didn’t come through your genitals either.

That looks like something the props department would whip up for characters who have stared too deep into the unknowable… Gruesome.


I’ve been an EMT for ten years. Eye injuries are the only thing that skeeve me out. If you’ll excuse me, I’m going to squirm uncomfortably and cuss for a little bit.


well, I always heard that the worst-case scenario was a big jolt passing through your heart, but having read both this article and your post I’m no longer convinced that’s true…

Electricity’s gonna take the shortest path with the least resistance so I guess that means it’s a good rule of thumb to not have your head close to any wires while doing electrical work.

Or anywhere near our weak biological frames for that matter, but that’s not really the relevant part of this case.

“Pluck them out! Pluck them out! Pluck them out!”

amperage anyone? because i thought that is what matters when it comes to electrocution.

Where’d you get them peepers?
Where’d you get those eyes?

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Back when I was in college, I had this good friend who had these weird scars on the sides of his feet, up toward the ankles. They were round, and about 2-3" in diameter. I asked him about them, and he told me, back when he was a little kid, he was climbing a tree, and had gotten pretty high up into it, when he grabbed onto what he thought was a branch, but was actually an electric line that has running through the branches. He was electrocuted and thrown out of the tree. The current entered his body at his hand and exited at his feet, where the scars now were.

Respect electricity.

You can’t push amps through a lot of resistance without voltage.

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Well, I gotta admit, if I had to go blind through some misfortune, I’d want to end up with eyes that look just like that.

So if it happens to me, uh… well, just tell me that that’s how they look.

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Technically it does, but 14KV is high enough that any skin contact is going to provide a low enough path of resistance that the resultant current would high enough to be very harmful.

Something like 110/220 can vary how much of a “bite” it gives depending on your skins condition. Things like moisture or sweat/salt on the surface all play a large part of what level of conductivity it has.


My dad was a commercial and industrial electrician for 30 years before retiring. I’m just so glad this never happened to him.

I’ve asked him before if he’s ever been shocked. He remembers being shocked by a 240 volt line at a wall box once. He was putting the box in, and had both switched off the breaker, disconnected the wire to the wall box he was working on, and left a note. Some bozo hooked the supply back in and reset the breaker when my dad’s screwdriver was touching the unexpectedly hot lead into the wall box. He was touching the metal shaft of the screwdriver, and another part of his hand was braced against the grounded wall of the box, so the current never went further than his wrist before exiting his body.

After that scary incident, he always made sure of two things: that the tools he used were well-insulated, and that the breaker he was working on had its door securely shut and locked while he was working on one of its circuits.

S. Clay Wilson’s “Star Eyed Stella” featuring our eponymous heroine and (what else?) pirates.

Cory, you mention that the scars look like the effect you see in plasma balls. You’re right, the images do look like that and they do look pretty damn cool. But I think the effects you’re referring to are actually the blood vessels of the retina, which are commonly imaged by your optician, I’ve had a couple of retinal photography sessions myself and you see the same thing in my healthy eye.

Reading the NEJM article, it sounds like the damage to the retina caused by the lighting was in-fact “scattered cotton-wool spots”, most likely those pale blotches on the lower images.

Either way, this is an interesting story and the retina is one bad-ass organ. It looks like a plasma ball even before you’ve been struck by lightning.

I’ve always thought that retinas looked kinda similar to the nebulae and dust clouds you see in Hubble photos.

My optician has the dilation-free machine that takes high def photos, and I convinced him to email me a copy of my retinal photos. I wanna get them printed and framed on the wall.

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