Survivors describe what it actually feels like to be struck by lightning

The chances of getting struck by lightning are one in 500,000, but it is still one of the leading causes of nature-related deaths, so what does it feel like?

Statistically, this is very rare and thankfully something most of us will never experience. But it's hard not to be curious.

Will you see your skeleton like in the cartoons, or will it leave you with your hair stuck on end?

Luckily, nine out of ten people who get struck by lightning survive the experience, and live to tell the tale.

Stuart Archer was struck by lightning during an LA thunderstorm in 2014.

In an interview with Vice.com, he said, “There was a huge boom explosion sound, and out of the corner of my eye, I saw a lightning bolt shoot down into the water and a huge flash right in front of my face.

“It felt like someone punched me in the back of my head. There was kind of a shock down my body and then my whole body locked up and I got thrown to the ground.”

When asked if it burned, Stuart said, “No, no burning. There are no marks on my body. It was more like…. You know when you get punched?”

  • Scientists uncover secrets of lightning to predict where it will strike next

Luckily Stuart wasn’t hurt, but lightning strikes can leave people with long term health problems.

Many survivors report nausea, cognitive issues, muscle soreness and headaches long after they are struck.

This is because your nerves are not used to so much electricity running through them – it can do permanent damage.

Lightning can also cause burns, but the strike only lasts a few microseconds, so they are rarely serious.

But the experience can be extremely painful. Writing for Esquire, Max Dearing said: "When the bolt hit, I was absolutely frozen, just as cold as I’ve ever been in my entire life, but then part of me was incredibly hot, too.

"I felt as if I’d been slammed between two dumpsters. It was like every case of the flu you’ve ever had, at one time. My arms and my legs and my hands all felt as if they weighed five thousand pounds.

"Every bit of my body was just in absolute pain. It was such a dull ache, and so sharp at the same time; it was like everything from a migraine headache to a hangover to needles being stuck in every millimeter of your body."

Strikes can also be fatal, as sometimes the jolt of electricity can stop the heart.

According to nationalgeographic.com, there were 3,696 recorded deaths from lightning strike in the U.S. between 1959 and 2003.

But does it really cause your hair to stand on end?

Lightning is a massive discharge of electromagnetic energy, this creates a lot of static in the air.

So if you ever find yourself in a field with your hair sticking up, it is best to get indoors straight away.

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