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There's a video that I just came across on Facebook:

In the video it shows what appears to be lightning travelling nearly horizontal and striking a river. The river launches up as if there were an underwater explosion for about 20-30 feet, and then rolls around. The video currently has 16 million views.

Lightning doing weird things I'm totally comfortable with - it's just not something we understand very well. But would it have that effect on the water, or is something else at play there?

  • 3
    Doesn't even really look like lightning to be honest. Looks more so like some kind of initiator that creates an electric discharge similar to that of a tesla coil. Not sure if they did that for a cool factor to trigger the explosion or if it legitimately needs that form of surge to set it off. – ggiaquin16 Aug 3 '17 at 17:59
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    can you provide a better source? There is just an login screen and the video does not play. – Jonas Stein Aug 3 '17 at 21:50
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    @JonasStein here's the original source, from youtube: youtube.com/watch?v=TD2hyCUePL0 – Ave Aug 4 '17 at 15:59
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    The amount of energy needed to flash-boil a river is difficult to comprehend. I've got a 3kw electric kettle and that takes over a minute to boil a litre of water. Lightning can be very energetic, but I seriously doubt even the biggest known strike has the energy to do that. We are talking several dozen metric tons of water here! – GordonM Aug 5 '17 at 9:29
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This is not a lightning strike. It's an underwater blasting explosion

Snopes covered this a few days ago. Here's the article. The video was originally posted to YouTube in 2012 to host it for this website.

The site says:

KÄÄNNY VEDENALAISESSA LOUHINTA- JA RÄJÄYTYSTYÖSSÄ AINA ASIANTUNTIJAN PUOLEEN

Rantojen ja vedenalaisen kallion louhinta- ja rakennustyö Turun saaristossa ja ympäristössä. Vedenalaisessa louhinnassa madalletaan kallionpinnan korkeutta järvessä, meressä tai muussa vesistössä. Ennen louhintatyön aloittamista tehdään louhinta- ja räjäytystöiden suunnitelma, jotta kaikki toteutuu turvallisesti. Vesistössä tapahtuva kallion louhinta on luvanvaraista toimintaa ja saattaa vaatia aluehallintoviraston (AVI) luvan.

MIHIN VEDENALAINEN LOUHINTA SOVELTUU?

Vedenalaista louhintaa käytetään rantojen ja vesistöjen kunnostukseen sekä merimerkkien perustamiseen. Lisäksi vesiväylien syventäminen, rakentaminen ja ylläpito tehdään louhinta- ja räjäytystöillä. Louhinta suoritetaan laittamalla porausreikiin vedenalaista erikoisräjähdettä, joka upotetaan kallioon porattuihin reikiin. Asiakkaita voi olla yksityiset asiakkaat, satamat, ja venesatamat. Ympäristöhallinnon sivuilta voit lukea lupa-asioista enemmän.

According to Google Translate (I don't speak or read Finnish so feel free to improve the translation if you do):

TAKE UNDERWATER MINING AND BLASTING WORK TO AN EXPERT

Mining and construction of beaches and underwater rock in Turku archipelago and surroundings. Underwater quarrying lowers the rock surface level in the lake, ocean or other waters. Before the excavation work is started, a mining and blasting plan is planned to ensure that everything is safely accomplished. The rock mining in water requires a license and may require the permission of the regional government agency (AVI).

WHERE IS UNDERWATER QUARRYING SUITABLE?

Underwater quarrying is used for the improvement of beaches and waterways and the creation of navigational beacons. In addition, the deepening, construction and maintenance of waterways are carried out through mining and blasting operations. Extraction is carried out by placing a special submerged explosive into the drilling holes, which is inserted into drilled holes in the rock. Our clients can be private customers, ports, and marinas. From the Environmental Administration website, read more about licensing issues .

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    Jeez, the Youtube title on the original upload even cleanly translates to "Drilling rig, part 3: Blasting" in Google Translate. – Izkata Aug 3 '17 at 17:59
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    Makes me wonder whether it was extreme ignorance or just malice that got it from "blasting" to "lightning strike" – Wayne Werner Aug 3 '17 at 22:16
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    @WayneWerner click baiting almost certainly – jwenting Aug 4 '17 at 8:12
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    @WayneWerner At first everyone thought they were just click baiting, but what happened next will blow your mind – A Bailey Aug 4 '17 at 13:00

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