Watch 15,000 Volts Of Raw Power Burn Lightning Strikes Into Wood

When lightning flashes across the sky, you only get a chance to glimpse its fractal form for a split second. But when you send 15,000 volts coursing through plywood, you get a much better look at how it grows. Melanie Hoff, a student at the Pratt Institute in New York City did just that, and the result is a timelapse where you can see the patterns slowly grow out and smolder, like lightning made from molasses.

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    Interesting vid, the electricity buns in some fascinating patterns. I imagine that plywood smoke was pretty nasty and toxic though.

    I am not impressed but not because the video isn't impressive, it's just that once I was standing within about 30 feet of a dead tree that took a direct hit from lightening and the result was profoundly impressive. I was certain that I'd be going back home with an 8 foot length of sharp wood through me; and a few shorter lengths. The tree itself just exploded into long sharp shards and there was very little of it left. Wish I'd had a movie camera trained on it at the time but how was I to know what was about to happen?

    Right, I'm going home to hammer some nails into our dining table and hook them up to the arc welder. I'm sure my wife will understand...

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