On a day like today (October 21), 1638, in Widecombe-in-the-Moor (extreme south-west of England), the Great Thunderstorm occurs. It is the first documented case of a spark (globular lightning).
The globular lightning refers to an unexplained and potentially dangerous atmospheric electrical phenomenon. The term refers to reports of luminescent spherical objects ranging from the size of a pea to several meters in diameter. Although usually associated with thunderstorms, the phenomenon lasts considerably longer than the fraction of a second of lightning. Two reports from the 19th century say that the sphere eventually exploded, leaving behind a sulfurous smell.
For a long time the phenomenon was considered a myth. Although the exact nature of it is still the subject of speculation, it is accepted that it is not an invention or a purely psychological phenomenon. Over 3,000 eyewitness reports have been obtained and it has been photographed multiple times. There is no widely accepted explanation yet.
A popular hypothesis posits that ball lightning is a highly ionized plasma contained by self-generated magnetic fields. After a detailed examination, this hypothesis does not seem tenable.
In this video they explain it quite well;
- what is that?
- is it a bird?
- is it a star?
- nope! It's a spark!
- oysters! Run!
- well, at a good hour you realized... we look like two charred chickens
- That hurt
- let's go to dinner
- okay, but only raw vegetables