As a kid, I was once dragged out the shower by my mom when a pop-up storm suddenly...well...popped up, I guess. Covered in soap and shampoo, I demanded to know why I'd gotten the vaudeville hook in the midst of a warm shower, and was told "So you don't get electrocuted, you idiot! You can die in the shower during a thunderstorm!"

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Going with my strengths, which at that time were groaning and rolling my eyes, I responded with "When has that ever happened anywhere?"

My mom, never one to want to have a long conversation with me without her attorney present, told me emphatically that it's happened "lots of times."

But, has it?

It Turns Out That There Is Some Actual Truth About Staying Out Of The Shower And The Bathtub During A Thunderstorm

But it also turns out that it's really difficult, if not impossible, to find a news story anywhere, including Illinois, about a shower or bathtub fatality involving a lighting strike.

Jeffrey A. Andresen, PhD, professor of geography, environment, and spatial sciences at Michigan State University, writing for Health.com, had this to say:

The plumbing and other metal in our homes can serve as a conduit for electrical current. If you are extremely unlucky and in contact with some of the plumbing or other metal in your home and lightning strikes, you could be seriously injured, or worse, as electricity passes through the metal.

The CDC Takes It Another Step By Advising Against Using Water Of Any Sort In Your Home During A Thunderstorm

They say that during a thunderstorm, electricity from lightning can move through water pipes in the entire building, not just the bathroom, so they advise against all water usage, including washing the dishes or even your hands.

Like I Said, I Can't Find A Single Report Of Someone Being Killed By Lightning In The Shower Or Tub, But I Did Find Reports Of Injuries

Snopes.com is where many go to find out if something is true or not, so I took a look there for info on showers, bathtubs, and lightning--and whether the whole "stay out of the shower and tub" mantra was actually accurate.

They list several instances of people getting hurt, but not fatally (all of these are from England, so maybe to be safe, just stay out of the U.K):

    • In November 2007, a bolt struck a teenager who was washing her hair at her home in Blandford, England. Said Abbie Jackson of the event, “It hit my wrist and basically lit up my arm. The showerhead flew out of my hand.”
    • In June 2001, Josephine Martine of Deal, England, was blown out of her bath tub by a lightning bolt. The mother of three, who had been soaking in her bath tub during a thunderstorm, was catapulted naked through the air by the force of the bolt, landing on the other side of her bathroom.
    • In November 2007, a bolt struck a teenager who was washing her hair at her home in Blandford, England. Said Abbie Jackson of the event, “It hit my wrist and basically lit up my arm. The showerhead flew out of my hand.”

Lightning Facts vs Myth

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, also know as NOAA put together five important facts and myths that we should know about lightning. There are five things you should know when encountering lightning. Keep things things in mind the next time you get stuck in a storm.

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