Lightning is a fairly common weather occurrence that happens when a sudden burst of electrostatic energy discharges from electrically charged clouds. And since electricity always wants to find somewhere to go, tall objects likes trees or telephone poles get struck regularly.
Almost everyone has seen a big thunderstorm roll in to their city with a bunch of dark clouds blocking out the sky, followed by usually heavy rain, and then some occasional bursts of lightning that light up the sky with a usually harmless bright flash.
But sometimes lightning can cause some serious damage when it strikes unsuspecting objects.
When Jim Probst was walking around at a cemetery after one such thunderstorm, he stumbled upon a tree that had been a victim of a particularly vicious lightning strike.
This time, instead of breaking off a chunk of the tree like what normally happens after such a strike, the lightning went straight through the tree and caused it to basically explode from the inside out.
The extreme heat from the lightning (which can reach temperatures of more than 10,000 degrees) caused the moisture in the tree to boil, causing the initial explosion.
Since the explosion happened inside the tree itself, there was nowhere to go but out, so the massive amount of energy released itself through the bottom of the tree and shattered it at the base.
Stumbling across a smoldering tree like this must have been like seeing something straight out of a Lord of the Rings film!
For Jim Probst, looking into the smoldering husk of that tree probably looked a lot like looking into the bottom of a dangerous volcano.
Check out the amazing footage below!Whizzco