A Strike Against iPods: Lightning

Tempting fate can cause permanent damage
By Jonas Oransky,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 12, 2007 3:32 PM CDT
Lightning strikes near East Fifth Street as storms rolled over Tyler, Texas, Tuesday June 26, 2007. (AP Photo/Dr. Scott M. Lieberman)   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – The story of a jogger with Y-shaped burns, a broken jaw, and hearing damage ends in an important moral: Forget your iPod during thunderstorms and try singing in the rain. The metal in earphones—any earphones, not just the chic white buds—can conduct the electric current from a lightning strike, Reuters reports, resulting in a real shock.

Canadian doctors tell the tale in a letter in today's New England Journal of Medicine, saying that the trouble wasn't the iPod itself, but rather the combination of metal and sweaty skin that put the 37-year-old jogger in the line of fire. The AP reports that  Apple declined to comment on the phenomenon. (Read more lightning stories.)