Ball Lightning Link To Human Combustion
(Thanks to Ananova.com for this article)
Scientists studying ball lightning say it may be linked to spontaneous human combustion.
The study includes a rare photograph taken by an Australian wildlife ranger who sent it to scientists after hearing of how rare the phenomenon is.
Experts in various fields have got together to study the rare phenomenon usually seen during thunderstorms.
They have put forward several theories to explain it but admit they are no closer to solving all its mysteries.
Their collection of papers is published in a special edition of The Royal Society's <http://www.pubs.royalsoc.ac.uk> Philosophical Transactions.
It is said to double the number of observations available for study in the literature.
Among their findings are that ball lightning can be powerful enough to boil away water and burn flesh.
They also suggest that water droplets, 'polymer threads' and 'metal nanoparticle chains' may form the actual lightning balls.
The collection's editor Dr John Abrahamson, of Canterbury University in New Zealand, says: "I, like the other authors in this collection, am frustrated at not being able to reproduce the full phenomenon in the lab.
"In spite of this, we all regard our theories as explaining most, if not all, natural ball lightning observations, in sometimes conflicting ways!"
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