You ever wonder what it’s like to be struck by lightning? Take a look at that shoe and read on, as we have a firsthand account from an Austrian hiker who was hit by a lightning bolt while taking a photo from a 9,000-foot Sierra Nevada mountain peak. Austrian hiker Mathias Steinhuber had the clothes he was wearing blasted off his body when he was hit by lightning Tuesday, and his body is covered with severe burns. But he survived the blast, and has a harrowing experience he can describe in detail.
“It was like in a dream,” Steinhuber told the Associated Press, while recovering at the UC Davis Hospital Burn Center. “I woke up. I had blood everywhere, my clothes were ripped apart. At some distance I heard my girlfriend scream my name. My first conclusion was that I probably fell down the mountain.”
Steinhuber says he doesn’t remember being hit by the lightning, which according to the National Weather Service, is hotter than the surface of the sun. The blast blew off all of his clothing, even his underwear. His terrified friends called 911, and he was transported by helicopter to Tahoe Forest Hospital in Truckee before being flown to the burn center at UC Davis.
He also had an entrance wound, on his head, and an exit wound, on one foot.
“Somebody told me the odds are higher winning the lottery than getting struck by lightning,” Steinhuber told the AP. “I would’ve rather won the lottery.”
We should note that the odds of being struck by lightning in one's lifetime are actually substantially lower than the odds of winning the lottery: just 1 in 3,000. So if you’re now freaked by the possibility, do brush up on these lightning safety tips also from the National Weather Service.