Posted by: David Gelsthorpe | October 11, 2010

Lightning strikes The Manchester Museum!

Well sort of.

Last week I started looking after the rocks and minerals collection here at The Manchester Museum. One of the really exciting things I’ve found in the collection is some fossil lightning called fulgurite.

Fulgurites form when lightning, (which is around 1800°C) strikes sand. The lightning fuses the sand into a hollow glassy tube. They can penetrate deep into the earth and can be up to 15 metres long.

These fulgurites were found at Back Bond Street, Macclesfield, Cheshire in the 1870s. I think it is amazing that somethings as instantaneous as a lightning strike can be preserved!

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Responses

  1. Cool! Thanks for this. It reminded me of the movie “Sweet Home Alabama.” I had thought the movie’s premise of lightening glass was fictional.


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