Wednesday, May 30, 2018

The Terror of Thunderstorms

Thunderstorms occur in most places around the world, but they have been known to elicit some very primal reactions. Have you ever been in your home when lightning flashes and thunder cracks at the same moment, the house and you shaking simultaneously? Let's have a look at the dark side of thunderstorms - 

Astraphobia, also known as astrapophobia, brontophobia, keraunophobia, or tonitrophobia is an abnormal fear of thunder and lightning, a type of specific phobia. It is a treatable phobia that both humans and animals can develop.

I remember as a kid, my father telling me that thunder was just the angels bowling. In a few minutes outside during a storm, I listened carefully as one rolling thunder sounder and my father cocked his ear and said, "oh, that sounds like a gutter ball." When a thunder made a loud crack, he would clap his hands and cheer, "strike!" That one amazing moment of parental guidance forever changed what was a fear of thunderstorms to a feeling of comfort. To this day, I love sleeping with a thunderstorm crashing away outside, I feel very safe and content.

(LINKThunderstorms are caused when moisture from the lower or mid-level part of the atmosphere mixes with warm, unstable air from the ground. Moisture and air then push upwards into the higher atmosphere to form clouds that produce thunder and lightning, as well as potential precipitation. Spring, summer and fall are most conducive to thunderstorms because the sun heats the ground and moisture is more perceptible in the air, especially in humid climates.

Lightning accounted for 23 fatalities, 145 injuries and $23.9 million in property damage.

Very real dangers aside, some of the most amazing photography has occurred during thunderstorms.

Here's a LINK to instructions on how to photograph lightning. 

During a very active monsoon storm, I took this picture (above) with my cell phone. I just clicked constantly until one frame managed to capture it lit. 

Here's some movies that will get you in a thunderstorm mood - 

Friday the 13th
The Covenant
Jurassic Park
Sleepy Hollow
The Perfect Storm
Cape Fear
Cold Creek Manor
Romancing the Stone

I find the sounds of thunderstorms comforting and I do a lot of horror writing, so I will play one of these soundtracks while I work, sometimes for when I'm falling asleep. 

Here is a video (below) of some thunderstorm horror stories to further the mood. 

The most lightning in the world occurs at 158 strikes per 1 square kilometer at Lake Maracaibo in Venezuela.

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