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  Voltage Gradient
  Posted by: TommyC1 on Jul-11-11 5:21 PM (EST)
 

You don't have to get hit by lightning to get hurt by it.
A lightning bolt is a big static shock. Millions of volts. When it strikes a tree or other object that voltage dissipates to ground through what ever is around it.
At the strike that voltage will be very high. Moving away from the strike the voltage drops. Depending on the conductivity of the media, whether that is earth or rock or water or roots or whatever the voltage will drop faster or slower. There can be a potential of thousands of volts between a few inches of ground. More between the ground and water or the ground and rocks or the ground and roots.
So if you are standing with your feet a foot apart, or with your back against a tree, or one foot on ledge and the other in the water you may be exposed to that very high voltage if lightning strikes nearby.
So if it's striking all around you, keep your feet together on one medium and minimise your contact with the ground.
In a near miss that might improve your chances.

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