The unexpected dangers of the iPod
July 13th 2007, 16:01
You've probably turned a deaf ear to the warnings about the permanent hearing loss you can suffer if you play your iPod or MP3 player too loudly. So here's another peril for those who have their device permanently glued to their ears - they also attract a lightning strike.
Doctors in Vancouver have treated one 37-year-old man who was listening to his iPod while jogging in a thunderstorm. He was running by a tree as it was struck by lightning - and the metal earpieces acted as a perfect conductor (no pun intended), and the side flash, as it's known, threw him eight feet from the tree.
The man suffered serious injuries, including fractures and dislocations, as well as serious damage to his ears. The current from the lightning passed through the patient's head. The burns around the man's ears exactly corresponded to the size and position of the earpieces.
Writing in the New England Journal of Medicine, doctors who treated the man say that the combination of the iPod's metal components and his sweat made the 'side flash' happen.
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