Thunder is the result of atoms being displaced from the massive amount of heat created by a bolt of lightning. Thunder is merely a shock wave, and lighting holds the danger because it’s essentially pure electricity. Lightning can reach temperatures in excess of 30,000 degrees Fahrenheit, which is hotter than the surface of the sun.
Thunder can be harmful to your ears. Thunder is the product of lightning heating of the air quickly. The sudden increase in temperature and pressure causes a shockwave of sound. Thunder can reach about 120 decibels, the equivalent of being 200 feet within a jet aircraft taking off. It is recommended to wear earplugs during a thunderstorm.
Yes thunder can be dangerous in extreme situations. The pressure wave, or shock propagation of the thunder, sometimes may cause exterior and interior damage to structures. Nail-supported drywall may come loose from horizontal and vertical wooden studs inside houses. Glass windows have been broken by thunder. It has even been noted that people who have been struck by lightening, or been standing near something struck by lightening, have had their eardrums popped.
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