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Lightning vs myth

posted Jan 13, 2018, 4:45 PM by jeffery jim

This event happened in the middle of the road between Kampung Rampai and Marabau around 10km in straight line or around 15km to 20km in distance through road from kudat.

1. Thunder 
In this case, testimonies only said the appearance of white smoke when this incident happened. There is no thunderclap or loud sound unlike most lightning we are accustomed with. Now, this incident is known as heat lightning or cloud-ground (CG) positive strikes. Positive CG is rarer than negative CG and accounted for 5% to 10% of overall lightning occurance.

Significantly, when a positive CG occurs, it is usually occur at the edge of the storm at high attitude (30,000 to 60,000 feet above) which are not protected, unlike the center of the storm which is protected by negative charge. Subsequently, this allow the strike to hit areas as far as 50KM away from the center of the storm. Because of that distance and height, one may not able to hear the thunderclap.

Kudat is known for wind stream and if you notice, it has been the area which changing stream. For that reason, Kudat district has been associated to strong wind. Nevertheless, it may not have the capacity of head wind to move a windmill rotor which says much about its efficiency to produce kinetic energy.

2. Lightning Strength 
This CG positive lightning is definitely different than its counterpart the negative one. The followings are information about this particular lightning;

Negative Lightning:
90-95% of all strikes
300,000,000 Volts
30,000 AMPS
50,000° Hot

Positive Lightning:
5-10% of all strikes
1,000,000,000 volts
300,000 AMPS
50,000° Hot but lasts 10 times longer.

3. Soil
Soil is another important fact that many not see is the fact that contributed as the bolt's perfect target to discharge. The perfect evidence is the middle of the road. There are two instances of how soil is involved in this incident. The soil around it and embankment fill soil. The area are considered as flood plains which consist of gleyic acrisols as well as gleysols, and the import fill to form the embankment is most likely a close by imported material which consist of highly acrisol and humic gleysol. Acrisols are basically clayey soil and gleyic or gleysols defines the nature of the soil current state or past state which consist of water.

Most geotechnic specialist understand that clays are usually associated with charge. This is the reason why clay have cohesive features. The flood plain is a natural resource for surface or subsurface water. Acrisol itself is acidic which is a superb electrolyte. It is a perfect and fastest way for electric charges to be grounded.
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Remark:Soils are composed of a mixture of sand, silt, clay and organic matter. Both the clay and organic matter particles have a net negative charge. Thus, these negatively-charged soil particles will attract and hold positively-charged particles.

4. Tale-tell signs
With the strength of 1 billion volt in a single strike (unlike others; ground to cloud, negative CG, crawlers and beads), this lightning bolt definitely have the strength to bore a hold that deep. Further to that, in the photo provided, one can see something which looks metallic. That is the fulgurite from the thunder bolt. We can close this case by examining this. Apart from that, wet soil means the present of high water table which support paragraph 3.

5. Myth
The myth of creatures emerging from ground is closely related to the folklore of Nunuk Ragang where their ancestors were attack by people or creatures emerged from the ground. So that is the possibility of why the story is attached with emergence of being or creatures.

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