Using mobile phones during lightning? Does it attract lightning?
There’s an idea among mobile users that if you use a mobile phone during lightning, it may attract the lightning and harm you. This seems to be a myth according to science.
If you use a wired line phone during a thunderstorm it is true that there’s a chance of you getting struck by lightning. This is because the phone is connected to a wide wired network outside. If some equipment in the wired network gets hit by lightning ( a pole lets say), there’s a chance that the high electricity absorbed may get distributed to the phone you are using, through the wired connection. This may result in heavy injuries.
But in the case of mobile phones, it’s not connected to anywhere other than the mobile network which is a wireless radio connection. As you all know, mobile phones radio signal is a very low powered one. Even the metal around the mobile phones casing is not a cause to attract lightning. So is there a chance of you getting struck by lightning when talking over a mobile phone?
The answer is yes. But this is not due to the mobile phone in any way. If you stay in an area where there’s a high chance of getting struck by lightning, for instance on a mountain or on a flat land area, there’s a chance of getting struck by lightning no matter if you were using the mobile phone or not. According to this same logic, it can be assumed that there’s a chance of getting attacked by a wild animal when you talk through the mobile phone. Only if you are in a wildlife area when talking of course.
One important thing to remember if you use mobile phones during lightning is that you should not connect chargers because the charger connects the phone to the main power grid which has a high risk of getting struck by lightning (Same reason in a wired landline connection ).
Reputed statements supporting the article –
Following worldwide media interest in 2006 (BBC News and British Medical Journal ), the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) issued a statement, saying lightning is not attracted to people carrying mobile phones.