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No. 79: Jan-Feb 1992

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Man-killer lightning

From category GLL8 in Lightning, Auroras, Nocturnal Lights, we know of lightning's preference for oaks over other trees in mixed forests; now it seems that a search of death records show that men are far more often killed by lightning than women. P.E. Brown checked the figures for England and Wales for the years 1974-1989, when 56 people were listed as killed by lightning. Of these 48 were male, 8 female. Brown supposes that the preponderance of male deaths is due to males being more likely to be outside in exposed areas. (Brown, Paul R.; "Lightning Deaths and Sex," Journal of Meteorology, U.K., 16:244, 1991.)

Reference. The book mentioned above is described here.

From Science Frontiers #79, JAN-FEB 1992. � 1992-2000 William R. Corliss