Dumbstruck: Lawn-mowing teen struck by lightning, blames Apple iPod

One Jason Bunch was listening to Metallica on his iPod while mowing the lawn outside his Castle Rock (Colorado) home Sunday afternoon when lightning hit him.

Ars Technica’s Jacqui Cheng reports that “the teen’s ears, face, and neck were burned along where his iPod’s cord was hanging, all the way down to his hip where the iPod was. The reasoning that Mr. Bunch and his mother are using to connect the iPod with the lightning strike is a little bit of a stretch, though. They claim that the iPod is what attracted the lightning to him, as there were taller things around him (such as trees) that were not struck. Experts, however, disagree with this reasoning:”

“There is no scientific evidence to show that lightning is ‘attracted’ to items like an iPod. However, if someone wearing earbuds is struck, current may travel along the wires into the ears,” said Gregory Stewart of the Denver-based Lightning Reference Center… Objects such as loose change in victims’ pockets have left first- and second-degree burns after a lightning strike, Stewart said.

“Rest assured, loyal iPod users, that listening to your iPod out in the middle of a lightning storm isn’t going to increase your chances of being struck by lightning,” Cheng reports.

Full article with links, photo of the scorched teen, and a bit about Cheng’s “dull hope that this media bubble around Mr. Bunch and his lightning-struck iPod doesn’t turn into some crazy lawsuit against Apple for manufacturing electronic killing machines that play awesome music,” here.

MacDailyNews Take: Bunch and his mother believe the iPod acted as an antenna, drawing the lightning to him, thereby giving a whole new meaning to the word “dumbstruck.”

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  1. Just a few weeks ago we had a motorcycle rider struck by lightning in Colorado during his afternoon drive home. I never did find out if it was the lightning or the crash that killed him but I would definitely have to blame Yamaha for making a motorcycle that attracts lightning. Perhaps he had a Windows laptop in his saddlebag?

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