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Modern Mysteries

First known sighting of ball lightning in England uncovered

By T.K. Randall
January 30, 2022 · Comment icon 5 comments

The sighting predates the former earlier known sighting by centuries. Image Credit: Pixabay / cocoparisienne
Researchers have come across a detailed account of a ball lighting sighting that occurred almost 1,000 years ago.
Encounters with ball lighting are often as fascinating as they are terrifying - imagine a silent ball of crackling energy gliding eerily towards you - the air around you tingling with electricity.

Such sightings are incredibly rare, however they can and do happen - ball lighting is a very real phenomenon indeed and one that remains steeped in mystery even to this day.

What is perhaps the first ever recorded sighting of ball lightning in England was recently uncovered in the text of a book compiled in the 12th-Century A.D. by Gervase, a monk of Christ Church Cathedral in Canterbury.
According to his writing, on June 7th, 1195, a mysterious spinning ball of flame had appeared out of a dark cloud on an otherwise clear day near to the London lodgings of the bishop of Norwich.

In his written account, Gervase stated that the "fiery globe threw itself down into the river."

It is easy to imagine that, especially given the time period during which this sighting occurred, the phenomenon would have been assigned some sort of divine significance.

Surprisingly, though, the monk's writings left the meaning behind the sighting open to interpretation.

Source: Live Science | Comments (5)

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Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by ouija ouija 3 years ago
My parents experienced a sighting of ball lightning when it came through an open window in the room they were in(early 50s)
Comment icon #2 Posted by L.A.T.1961 3 years ago
My grandmother had a ball lightning encounter while at home cleaning with her mom. It was a warm summers day without rain or storms. It came in through the open front door, directly into the front room, and exited via an open window. 
Comment icon #3 Posted by HandsomeGorilla 3 years ago
I was definitely single digits at the time, but I remember it coming through a window and then circling around to destroy a window AC unit. Like a brightly lit basketball 
Comment icon #4 Posted by Michelle 3 years ago
My M-I-L was hit by ball lighting. She was in the kitchen with her hand on an iron skillet on the stove. It came in through the window and hit the skillet where she had her hand on the handle. Her arm was paralyzed for about a year. She described it around the size of a basketball too.
Comment icon #5 Posted by ercbreeze 3 years ago
I had one encounter during the early winter of 1973 I think, while delivering papers in a light falling snow about 5am in Seymour, CT.  I was on a road at the top of a hill saw a flash of light that looked almost like fireworks, it arced up and then down and then a slight thunder clap and quickly disappeared--lasted about 2-3 seconds. It was so cool to see.    

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