Your Chances of Being Killed in a Lightning Strike
July 18th, 2008
Your Chances of Dying in a Lightning Strike Are Greater Than…
Some people love the sound of thunder and of rain pattering against the windows, but others worry about being killed by lightning during a thunderstorm. Just how likely is it really that you’ll die this way? Well, each year about 1 in 3 million people are killed by lightning. Your lifetime risk of dying from a lightning strike is about 1 in 80,000. To put it in perspective, here are five even less likely ways to die.
The events of 9/11 brought home the stark realities of terrorism and its toll. For the first time since the Civil War, a war was brought to our home soil, and naturally, we hated it. We feared it as well. Dying in a terrorist attack suddenly seemed a very real possibility. But what do the numbers say? Well, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, 1 person out of 88,000 will lose his or her life as a result of terrorism. You’re more likely to be struck by lightning.
Ever since the book and the movie Jaws , the American public has “known” that sharks are dangerous. And in a way, they are. They’re small-brained carnivores and we’re a food source. But only about 1 in 8 million people in the United States will die at the hands…er…teeth of a shark. So get that horrible theme song out of your head!
Like sharks, venomous snakes and spiders were never intended by nature to be cute and cuddly, but in the final analysis, they’re less lethal than lightning, killing just 1 in 100,000 Americans.
Autoerotic asphyxiation refers to cutting off one’s own airway during masturbation to enhance sexual pleasure. Sometimes oxygen is withheld from the brain for too long, and death occurs. According to Dr. Stephen Hucker, forensic psychiatrist, about 1 in 1 million people will die from autoerotic asphyxiation. The actual number may be higher, however, because death certificates do not always accurately reflect self-inflicted causes of death. In any event, this cause of death is 100% avoidable. Never do anything to choke yourself.
A great many television programs have solemnly informed us that the Earth is in a shooting gallery of asteroids and that “some day” the big one will hit and destroy a good part of humanity. So should you start planning for extinction? Not yet. Your odds of being killed by an asteroid strike are 1 in 200,000. You’re far more at risk from the lightning.