Video Shows What Happens When Lightning Strikes a River-Fiction! 

Summary of eRumor:

A video showing lightning striking a river has left audiences captivated.

The Truth:

A video explosives being detonated in a river bed was misidentified as a lightning striking a river in a YouTube video that went viral in August 2017.

The video, which was posted at a Youtube channeled called SabHai Yahan under the headline “Lighting Hits a River … What a Sight,” generated more than 15,000 views within 24 hours. After a sudden flash and crack, the river bottom appears to explode, sending sand and water over its banks:

But skeptical commenters immediately pointed out that the sudden flash, which enter the river sideways from the bank, appeared to be an explosives detonator rather than lighting striking the river. Also, a small puff of smoke arises from the river bank just before the flash strikes the water. Turns out, they were right.

A fuse detonates explosives in a river.
A screen grab of a video supposedly showing lighting striking a river reveals that the flash came from a detonator along the river bank, not lighting.

The video was originally posted in 2012 by a Finnish company that specializes in underwater mining and construction called Rannikon Merityö Oy in December 2012. The original title of the video was “Porapaalutusta, osa 3: Räjäytys,” which translates into “Drilling rig, part 3: Blasting.”

Even though this video doesn’t show lighting striking a river, there are plenty of videos of lighting striking water. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) explains that water serves as a conductor, so when lighting strikes water, it’s current can spread outward along the surface for up to five miles:

A bolt of lightning can span five miles, contain 100 million volts of electricity and reach temperatures hotter than the sun. So, it’s important to avoid water, a known conductor, whenever lightning is seen or thunder is heard.


A real example of the eRumor as it has appeared on the Internet:

Collected on: 08/03/2017