The fulgurites

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The term fulgurite comes from “fulgur”, which is equivalent to the word lightning in Latin.

Fulgurites or “petrified lightnings” are metamorphic rocks composed by vitrified silica with elongated cylinder shape. When lightning strikes a sandy ground and spreads through the quartz sand melting and vitrifying the grains, fulgurites form.

This process is possible due to the high temperatures that are reached at the moment of lightning impact.

When the shock occurs, the sand and soil vaporize and the lightning penetrates on the ground bifurcating. The silicon temperature reaches 50.000ºC generating hollow glass tubes between 2 and 50mm of diameter.

The amount of energy concentrated on the point of impact elevate the rock and molten sand along the lightning canal. This generates wonderful hollow glass formations known as Fulgurites.

The color of Fulgurites depends on the composition of the ground and its chemical impurities. Generally, they are of different gray tones, although they can be greenish or take on a reddish or white appearance.

David Hermann made the first documented discovery of a fulgurite in Germany in 1706. Since then, fulgurites have been found in most of the world, even in areas such as Sahara where, at present, there are hardly any lightning strikes. This confirm us that in prehistoric times the environmental conditions were very different from today’s conditions.

Responsible with the Environment

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We work every day to be responsible with the Environment. For that, Aiditec Systems uses 100% biodegradable and recyclable cardboard boxes for the packaging of all products. With this, we aim reduce the amount of waste, reuse and recicle as much as possible, reducing the environmental impact.

We are a company committed to the environment and involved with our society and the future of this. Thus, from Aiditec Systems we believe that with our actions we reduce the non-biodegradable waist. Furthermore, we reuse or recycle it instead of throw them in the trash, reducing the environmental impact of our business activity.

We believe in sustainable development and environment protection. For this, we try to reduce any negative impact of our operations on environment.

The recycling of our lightning rods packaging contributes with the conservation of environment. In addition, we have strategies of environmental management for reducing the impact caused by our manufacturing processes. Although this last impact can be perceived as insignificant or low, you can always carry out small actions in the office aimed at its prevention or reduction.

Committed to sustainability and the environment,

Aiditec Systems.


Lightning: Myths and reality

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Storms and lightnings are exciting meteorological phenomena, but it is necessary to be forewarned, since they have a high mortality and accident rate. Given this, the most important tihng is to be very well informed. Therefore, below we share some myths and realities related to this phenomenon.

“If it does not rain on our heads, we are safe from the impact of lightning”

Many of us believe that cloud-to-ground lightning are vertical. This is because they “search” high areas, isolated or with pointed forms. Therefore, skyscrapers and large buildings, such as Empire State Building or Eiffel Tower, receive about 100 impacts per year.

“The tires of the cars protect us from the impact of lightning”

It is very difficult for lightning to hit a vehicle due to its rounded shapes and without any protrusion. But, if this happens, it would be the bodywork that would protec us from this impact. This is because the metal acts like a Faraday Cage and drives the beam through the outside of the vehicle until it reaches the ground. The same goes for airplanes.

“Metallic structures and objects attract lightning”

The lightnings usually impact in high areas, isolated or with pointed forms. But, the material or the presence of metals does not determine the point of impact. However, metal conducts electricity. Therefore, it is advisable to stay away from fences, train tracks, etc.

“Inside the ouse we are safe from electric shocks”

Even if we are inside our home, every precaution is small. Therefore, it is very important to avoid certain actions during the storm such as washing the dishes, using the landline and the computer or watching television. This is because the pipes and light cables are excellent conductors. Therefore, if a lightning discharges and you are in contact with any of these devices, this discharge can reach you.

“If you are in the open, and a storm surprises you, you should lie on the ground or take shelter under a tree”

The firs thing we can do, and more important, is to find a safe refuge, avoiding shelter under a tree. The trees are usually tall and pointed, also stand out over the rest of the vegetation. Therefore, takin shelter under a tree is one of the main reasons for death by lightning strike.

Second, lying down increases the likelihood of a lightning hitting us, as the current travels through the ground. Therefore, the best way to act, if there is no place nearby to shelter during the storm, is to squat with your feet together and your head down between your legs. Cover your ears and eyes and wait for the storm to pass.

“We should not touch a person affected by lightning because it is electrified”

When a lightning hits a person, the electric shock does not stay in his body. Moreover, we must immediately attend to the injured while we wait the arrival of medical assistance.

Lightning burns more than 20 cows in León

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The lightning strike during last week’s storms on the Mount Geras, in León (Spain), calcined more than twenty cows.

When the storm began, the cows were grazing on the highest part of Mount Geras as they usually do. The area where the animals grazed is owned by a farmer in Santa María de Ordás. This area is in the highest part of the mountain and is difficult to access. Therefore, it was not until the storm ceased that the farmer could reach the place, where he met the devastating event.

According to the neighbors it is an extraordinary fact since, generally, no animal is struck by lightning in the area.

This reminds us of what happened in Norway in 2016, where 323 reindeers died due to the impact of lightning.

In these cases, the death of the animals is possibly due to so-called “ground current”.

The animals that are outdoors are very exposed to these misfortunes. For this, is necessary to protect farms and pasture areas with lightning protection systems.

Unusual lightning strikes near the North Pole

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For lightning to occur, atmospheric instability is necessary. That is to say, that the cold and dry air be placed on the warm and humid air. Normally, that warm and humid air is not in areas near the north pole. Therefore, it is really complicated that lightning strikes occur in this area.

However, during August 10, 2019, scientists detected dozens of lightning strikes near the North Pole. Only 300 nautical miles. This fact is so unusual that the office of the United States National Weather Service in Fairbanks, Alaska, said that this is one of the most northern lightning strikes that Alaska forecasters remembered.

Unusual lightning strikes
Source: NWS Fairbanks (NOAA)

It is very likely that this unusual phenomenon occurred due to climate change, but also for other reasons. For example, the warming of the area due to the smoke from the forest fires that took place in Siberia.

According to experts, polar lightnings will be more common as the planet’s temperature increases and thaw increases in the Arctic areas.

What would happen to your car if a lightning hits it while you drive it?

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There are days of storm when we ask ourselves what would happen to our car if lightning struck it.

First of all, it should be noted that the probability of a lightning strike on a car is minimal. This is because the lightnings look for pointed elements located in height such as trees, towers, buildings and lightning rods. Even a person walking in the open field. It is difficult for lightning strike on a vehicle due to its rounded shape and because they circulate over earth.

In the case of lightning strikes our car, it would act like a Faraday Cage, as happens with airplanes. The lightning would circulate on the outside of the car and would discharge on the ground through a point-like element. for example, the exhaust pipe.

For this to happen, the windows should be closed, avoiding any air flow from inside to outside.

The body of the car, especially the point where the lightning strikes, could be damaged getting to be drilled. In addition, electronics would be extremely affected by this impact, since induced voltages would occur in the electronic circuits that would damage it.

Should I install a lightning rod?

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This is a question we are asked frequently. It’s a security issue. Just as you have to install fire systems if necessary, a lightning protection system seems dispensable until it is too late.

If you are a private individual, the reasons are simple. It is a matter of avoiding damages at your home, your personal objects or your family. Computers, television, appliances or heaters are the objects most susceptible to end up “fried” in the event of a lightning strike. Compared to the damage that can be caused by lightning, a lightning rod is cheap.

On the other hand, if you have a company, the question is even simpler. Lightning can destroy machinery, stock, raw materials or simply interrupt production for a considerable time. The losses it can cause are much greater than the cost of the protection system. To give an example, two years ago livestock farm in Chile lost 64 cows because of lightning. More sounded was a case of ten years ago, in Aragon, where a lightning bolt fell on a flour mill, causing a fire that left 5 dead and several seriously injured. The company did not recover from what happened and closed the doors.

All these events are avoidable with the installation of measures against lightning, external -like lightning rods- and internal -like surge protectors-.

But what is the real risk of lightning striking a building?

This is a very simple fact to obtain since we put at your disposal a calculation of the risk of lightning impact. In addition to the probability, it provides a recommendation according to UNE 21186 on the need for the protection system.

Quickly check your actual risk: Risk Calculation

Types of lightning: classification

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It is the best know type of lightning, although not the most common. It is a discharge between a cumulonimbus cloud and the earth. It is the most dangerous type of lightning because it moves from the cloud to the ground and on impact can cause serious injuries to living beings and important damage in objects and properties.

Within the cloud-to-ground lightning as we all know them, a downward stroke from the cloud to the earth, there are different peculiarity:

Bead lightning

It is a type of CG lightning that is characterized by generating chain intersections of short, bright and longer duration sections than an usual discharge. It is a relatively rare phenomenon that, according to science, may be due to the variation of the beam width, which produces an illusion of more or less light in some sections of its route. It can be considered more properly a stage of a normal lightning discharge rather than a type of lightning in itself.


It is a type of CG lightning of very short duration with very bright flash aspect and with numerous ramifications.

Forked lightning

It is the name given to the CG lightning that shows the ramification of its path, similar to the Staccato lightning but of greater duration.


This type of lightning consists of a discharge between the earth and a cumulonimbus cloud, with an upward strike. This is formed when negatively charged ions ascend from the ground and are in the cloud with positively charged ions. When they collide, lightning returns to earth as a trace. Usually, these lightnings are recorded in the vicinity of tall objects such as repeaters or skyscrapers. They constitute 1% of the total electric discharges of the planet.


There are two types of cloud-to-cloud lightning, the lightnings that occurs between two separate clouds, called inter-cloud or cloud-to-cloud (CC); and lightnings that occurs within a single cloud, between areas of different electric potential, called intra-cloud (IC). Intra-cloud lightning is the most frequently occurring type.