Scientists develop their own lightning ball machine: "Filed under: Misc. Gadgets
Apparently we've been missing out in the big city because the real fun seems to be had on the farm where, if you're lucky, you can spy a hovering ball of lightning during a thunderstorm chasing a cow or causing some such mayhem. It turns out this semi-freaky ball lighting stuff is thought to be a result of a lightning strike which kicks up dirt when it hits the ground and then slowly burns off the minerals as a slow moving fireball. Of course scientists can't leave well enough alone, so some researchers in Israel have built their very own fireball machine using the magnetron from a domestic microwave. The device drills into a solid, and when it pulls out it brings with it a 3-cm floating fireball that quivers like a jellyfish and floats in the air, but only lasts a few milliseconds. The developers of the device are hoping they can use the lightning balls for practical applications, but we're looking forward to a little bit of Mario-style Fire Flower firepower.