Lightning storms can be pretty terrifying and with them comes some uncertainty. A lightning strike hit a tree in Ohio and created an extremely eerie-looking result as it burned from the inside.
Firefighters were alerted and drove to a home in the rural Ridgeville Township. The Ridgeville Township Volunteer Fire Department shared photos of the tree on their Facebook page. Images of the tree show it glowing as flames spew out and up the trunk.
“Lightning can do some crazy things and we had a tough time getting to every hot spot in this tree trunk,” the fire department wrote in their post.
According to the fire department, Moyer’s Tree Service was called to assist in cutting the tree down. Other photos shared by the fire department showed the burned tree after the flames had been put out.
Lightning strikes have caused similar-looking results in trees before. Despite the incredible appearance, there’s actually a natural explanation for the cause. Lightning is naturally drawn to trees because of their size but the sap from the inside of trees serves as a better conductor than the wood itself.
According to Purdue’s Forestry and Natural Resources department, the temperature of a lightning flash is five times hotter than the sun, which creates an internal pressure that can cause the tree to explode from within. This completely explains the phenomena and how the tree could be on fire from the inside.
“Yet, rain-soaked bark often shows little damage because the lightning may follow the outside of the bark and flow into the ground. Internal tree structure, such as spiral grains, can induce a spiral pattern on the outside of the bark as the lightning follows the moisture within the tree,” the department said.