The fish need to be close to the surface, for one, and fish generally don't get close to the surface of water, especially during storms. What happens when lightning hits the sea, asks Justin Parkinson. For much the same reason that lightning striking an aircraft does not kill all the passengers! https://www.hoax-slayer.net/lightning-hits-water-video-debunked There are a couple factors. The fish need to be close to the surface, for one, and fish generally don't get close to the surface of water, especially during storms. It really is dangerous to bathe during a thunderstorm. We think that those fish probably don't get hit much since there are usually trees or something that would attract the lightning. When lightning strikes a body of water, what happens is simple. Water is a good conductor, and a lake or the ocean has a lot of it, so the current density flowing through any chunk of water is not very great. I've been surfing when the water was hit by lightning and all I felt was a warm tingly feeling. Instead, it spreads along the surface, discharging horizontally. If a fish is near the lightning strike, it would die, but the electricity doesn't travel far enough to kill much. Well, fish can be electrocuted by lightning, but it doesn't happen very frequently. Like metal, water is a good conductor, so it encourages the electrical current to travel over its surface rather than delve underneath, the same way a Faraday cage protects its contents from harmful shocks. Plus, the ocean is so large that there is far more empty water than water filled with fish. And not just theoretically dangerous; we're talking 10 to 20 people in the U.S. a year suffer injuries while messing around with household water during a storm [source: O'Connor]. The electric charge doesn’t penetrate far into the water. It's "easier" for the current to flow around the fish than it is to flow through the fish. This is why there aren’t dozens of dead fish popping up after every storm. I love the story, but I don't believe lightning is very harmful to marine animals. When lightning strikes the sea, some of the fish nearby will die. We know that fish in creeks are in very shallow water and should be zapped by lightning pretty well if it was to hit the water. Even still, lightning does strike the water sometimes.Why doesn't that kill fish by the thousands? When lightning strikes the the sea why don't all the fish die? Before a lightning strike, a charge builds up along the water's surface. Well, fish can be electrocuted by lightning, but it doesn't happen very frequently. This is because seawater is a good conductor of electricity, and lightning contains a lot! Physics has the answer. The ocean is very, very large and electricity quickly dissipates in the water. But the electricity will spread out very quickly, so further out from where the lightning hit, the fish will only feel a tingle. 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