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Ball lighting may be induced hallucination
Numerous encounters of light balls during thunderstorms may actually be magnetic fields playing with human senses.
Propeller The phenomenon of powerful magnetic fields causing hallucinations is well known since the 1980s. Called “transcranial magnetic stimulation” (TMS), the technique is used in the lab to study the workings of the brain. Researchers focus an alternating magnetic field, which may be as powerful as 0.5 Tesla, on a specific area. This causes currents in the synapses. If TMS is applied to the visual cortex, the test subject will “see” glowing disks and lines.
A similar effect can happen in nature in specific conditions, say Joseph Peer and Alexander Kendl at the University of Innsbruck in Austria. In a paper published on the preprint website arXiv.org, they describe how a series of lightning striking in the same place can create an alternating magnetic field, acting similar to TMS experiments on people as far as 200 meters.
Such an event would be quite rare, with only about one to five percent of strikes capable of inducing a hallucination, the researchers say. And of those, only a handful would be witnessed from distance close enough, but not too close to harm the observer.
Read more: RT
Ball lightning was first reported in St. Petersburg in Russia in 1754 by a Dr. Richmann, who was attempting to copy Benjamin Franklin’s kite-lightning experiment, and who was instantly killed by the lightning. It is rarely seen and photographic evidence is almost nonexistent. There are dozens of theories of how ball lightning could form, including the burning of hot silicon particles produced when a lightning strike vaporizes the ground.