In 2017, 16 people died in the United States by being struck by lightning. That’s 16 people over 365 days and presumably 16 different lightning strikes. 211 years ago, 300 hundred people died in one day due to one lightning strike in Luxembourg. If you don’t know what Luxembourg is, it’s a tiny little country nestled in the mountains between France, Belgium, and Germany. The country itself probably has like 700 people so a single lightning strike wiping out half of their goddamn population is kind of a big deal.
Now while this lightning strike is being called the “Deadliest Lightning Strike of All Time,” one has to put an asterisk next to it. Here’s why. The bolt of lightning struck a military compound with a shit ton of artillery inside. That short son of a bitch Napoleon used the area that is now known as Luxembourg to store his weapons and ammunition. So when lightning struck the military fortress, it caused a huge ass explosion that decimated a two block radius from the compound and caused fires even further than that.
Talk about a tough break for the people of Luxembourg. Put yourself in their shoes for a second. You get something in the mail one day that says fucking Napoleon is buying a piece of land down the road to build a weaponry fortress. It promises to bring jobs to the area which will help the economy turn around. Shit, you might even get a Whole Foods if everything goes right! You’re not crazy about construction going on in your neighborhood, but you tolerate it because (A) it will bring jobs and (B) you’re Luxembourg and Napoleon is a dictator, so you don’t really have a choice. About eight months pass and finally the fortress is complete. The constant sound of jackhammers, trucks, and banging is finally gone. You’re life is once peaceful again.
One night after you put your kids to bed, you and your wife snuggle up on the front porch to watch and listen to the pitter-patter of the rain. A beautiful thunderstorm is erupting and you think about maybe consummating your love right there on the front porch to the serenade of rain and thunder, and then…
You’re dead because goddamn Napoleon had to build a military fortress down the road and he forgot to make it lightning proof. Just a tough break.