Professor at Center for Power and Energy, DTU Elektro explains why 323 reindeer died after lightning strike - Photo: DR Vejret

323 reindeer found dead after a lightning strike - Professor explains what happened

Tuesday 30 Aug 16
by Rikke Høm Jensen


Joachim Holbøll
Professor, Head of Studies
DTU Wind
+45 45 25 35 15
Last Friday 323 reindeer were struck by lightning. Professor at Center for Power and energy, DTU Elektro, Joachim Holbøll visited DR Vejret to explain why so many reindeer died from one strike of lightning.  

Hundreds of reindeer that died in a Norwegian national park Friday, might have been hit by a single lightning strike, Joachim Holbøll, Professor at Center for Power and Energy at DTU Elektro explains to DR Vejret (Danish Broadcasting Corporation)

Up to 50.000 ampere might hit the ground when lightning strikes. If that is the case the bedrock in the national park will be able to carry high voltage on the face of it right were the reindeer are, leaving them with heart failure.

Humans can squat and make their heels meet to protect themselves against a deadly lightning strike, if they cannot find shelter. By doing so the power will run through the human body causing minimum damage. But reindeer have the disadvantage that their legs are apart which creates high voltage from one leg to the other passing the heart on the way, Joachim Holbøll explains.

Watch the interview on DR Vejrets homepage (in danish)