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Ball Lightning Caused By Magnetic Hallucinations

KentuckyFC (1144503) writes | more than 4 years ago

Science 3

KentuckyFC (1144503) writes "Transcranial magnetic stimulation involves placing a human in a rapidly changing magnetic field that is powerful enough to induce eddy currents in the brain. Focus the field in the visual cortex, for example, and the induced eddys cause the subject to 'see' lights that appear as discs and lines. Move the the field within the cortex and the subject sees the lights move too. But if this happens in the lab, then why not in the real world too, say physicists who have calculated that the fields associated with certain kinds of multiple lightning strikes are powerful enough to induce the same kind of visual hallucinations in anybody unlucky enough to be within 200 metres or so. These fields ought to induce hallucinations similar to those experienced in the lab. These would take the form of luminous lines and balls that float in front of the subject's eyes, an effect that would explain observations otherwise classed as ball lightning, say the scientists."
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3 comments

holes in the theory (1)

AkumaKuruma (879423) | more than 4 years ago | (#32168312)

I highly doubt that this would explain all events, especially where "ball lightning" was experience by multiple people simultaneously from different angles. I would expect them to see their own seperate events, not the same event.

Re:holes in the theory (1)

BitterOak (537666) | more than 4 years ago | (#32174684)

I highly doubt that this would explain all events, especially where "ball lightning" was experience by multiple people simultaneously from different angles. I would expect them to see their own seperate events, not the same event.

It also wouldn't explain how ball lightning can be photographed. (Do a Google Image search for "ball lightning" for numerous examples.)

one form of ball lightning may be damn small (1)

DotDotSlashDot (1207864) | more than 4 years ago | (#32171602)

When I get up in the middle of the night to use the bathroom, I frequently see strange flashes. This happens even when my eyes are closed and I've taken several steps from the bed. My unsubstantiated theory is that this is from a re-equalization of the electrostatic fields around me. The mattress is foam rubber covered with various fabrics and there are coil springs below that. Has anyone ever modeled this electrical environment. Acoustically, the springs are apparently tuned to be resonant at the mean frequency of farts. Can plasmons form and decay within the eye or visual cortex? If this can happen on the surface of rods or cones in the eye, it would be about as brilliant as the things I see.
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