To add on with everyone's great examples;
The Fulgerite (sp???) shown, is the typical result of a succession of current flowing through the same contact point, and performed the same action on the Silica as would be done in a normal Manufacturing process to make Glass.
Simply stated, the high TRUE POWER
transfer - in continuous duration - created a high heat in the soil, which fused the Silica crystalline Molecules in the soil, and resulted in the Fulgerite structure.
Most discharge points will result in this formation - as long as they remain continuous in the same point.
When Trees or Wood Poles are involved, things may take one of two results:
[*] High Current peaks may simply shatter them - without setting fire,
[*] Succession of current peaks with continuous current will set them on fire.
Similar may be said to happen with conductors - High current short time charges passed through a rubber covered conductor can eliminate the wire, but leave the rubber covering unharmed.
Successive peaks with constant current will barbeque both the conductor and the rubber insulation.
Hollow, or flat conductors, are often crushed by high Lightning currents - owing to both the heating and magnetic effects of the discharge(s).
Many, Many, many-many-many coulombs flowing under an extremely high EMF: results = high transfer of True Power.
Just as impressive as the Fulgerites (to me) are:
* The EXTREMELY LARGE and successive Plasma created during a solid discharge,
* How the Plasma "Pumps" the surrounding air into a HIGH POWER Thunder sound (the successive increase and decrease in the Plasma's size results in the generation of the powerful thunder sound...and as Tim Taylor would say: "Oh, Ohhh, huuh Huuaah!!!"),
* How many pulsations occur during a discharge,
* How many "Aux." discharge points are involved,
* And how the entire event is constructed (includes the discharging from above the Stratosphere into the cloud, then the "Drain" from Stratosphere clouds into the Earth). Within this includes the very large Electrostatic field present in the "Zone", and how it pushes / pulls / moves charges from or to distant locations during the entire event process!
So, does this show my interest in the phenomena, or what! ???