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Thursday, April 14, 2011

Lightning strikes THRICE: Empire State Building hit by three bolts in one night - 14th Apr 2011

Last night's storm in New York City brought a dramatic display, as the iconic Empire State Building was hit by lighting three times in rapid succession.

Manhattan's tallest building was brilliantly lit up, and caught on video.

The 1,454-foot tall structure is struck by an average of 100 bolts a year.

Luckily, the landmark was designed to channel the high voltage harmlessly to the ground.

The secret is so-called 'lightning rods', which were invented by Ben Franklin in the 1750s. The rods direct the flow of electricity to the ground, where it dissipates.

Before completing his design for lightning rods, Franklin tried his legendary (and exceedingly dangerous) kite experiment, in which he lofted a metal key into the air, tethered with an insulating silk line.

When Franklin saw that the key was getting charged from the electricity in the air, he knew for certain that lighting was made up of electricity. Read More