Some 'ball lightning' reports may be hallucinations | Science News

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Some 'ball lightning' reports may be hallucinations

Magnetic fields generated by real bolts could trigger visual effects in the brain

By
12:55pm, May 20, 2010

Talk about a flash of insight. Lightning strokes could stimulate people’s brains and cause them to hallucinate bright blobs of light the same way a medical procedure that applies magnetic fields to the brain does, two physicists propose. The findings could help explain some reports of “ball lightning,” mysterious floating orbs that have been reported for centuries but are poorly understood. A paper describing the idea will appear in Physics Letters A.

“We don’t claim to have a solution for the mystery of ball lightning,” says study coauthor Alexander Kendl, a plasma physicist at the University of Innsbruck in Austria. &ldq

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