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September 19, 2020 - All Thats Interesting

New Study Suggests That Giraffes Attract Lightning Strikes With Their Towering Height

New Study Suggests That Giraffes Attract Lightning Strikes With Their Towering Height
Giraffe, tall animal File Image: (c) Photabulous!

On the last day of February, a South African rainstorm in the Northern Cape saw two giraffes struck by lightning. The freak 2020 incident at Rockwood Conservation naturally came as a shock, though a new study suggests it shouldn’t have — as giraffes are inherently prone to being struck.

For conservation scientists like Ciska Scheijen, who works at the animal-friendly expanse, the incident represented a valuable learning opportunity. According to IFL Science, it’s long been argued that the mere height of giraffes could attract lightning — but this event finally yielded actual data.

While Scheijen clarified her observations were borne out of mere chance, she published her findings in the African Journal of Ecology in hopes they inspire further research. As it stands, it appears that giraffe height isn’t the only factor — but the knob-like horns atop their heads might act as lightning rods.

Read more at All Thats Interesting


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