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.”

Introducing the super-fast, blogging, podcasting, do-everything-out-of-the-box MacBook.  Starting at just $1099.
Get the new iMac with Intel Core Duo for as low as $31 A MONTH with Free shipping!
Get the MacBook Pro with Intel Core Duo for as low as $47 A MONTH with Free Shipping!
Apple’s new Mac mini. Intel Core, up to 4 times faster. Starting at just $599. Free shipping.
iPod. 15,000 songs. 25,000 photos. 150 hours of video. The new iPod. 30GB and 60GB models start at just $299. Free shipping.
Connect iPod to your television set with the iPod AV Cable. Just $19.
iPod Radio Remote. Listen to FM radio on your iPod and control everything with a convenient wired remote. Just $49.


  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?

  2. Malthus had it right … an Act Of God, a warning to all those who would listen to Metallica – especially while using power tools such as a lawn mower. The burns along the route between the buds and the iPod? Duh! The metal heated up while helping the dufus by routing the electricity around, rather than through his body.

    stableos, I’ve never ridden a bike – from my first single-speed through my last rice-burner – that would provide a path between my head and the road. There’s always that last inch (or two, or three) of rubber in between. I can certainly see how a near-strike could both leave burns and cause you to lose control of your bike, your bowels, your mind … and think you were actually struck, if you survived.

  3. Blatant Off-Topic Post:

    Today, July 7th, 2001 Apple discontinued the Cube. Worst day in history ever!

    ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”downer” style=”border:0;” />

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.