back to article Canadian iPod user struck by lightning

A 37-year-old Canadian jogger suffered "multiple injuries to his head" after ill-advisedly standing under a tree during a thunderstorm while listening to his iPod, the Vancouver Sun reports. The unnamed victim, reportedly an active church musician and enjoying "religious music" at the time of the incident, was struck by …


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  1. Jeff

    Burnaby Park?

    There is no "Burnaby Park" in Vancouver. There is Central Park (sometimes referred to as Burnaby Park simply because it's big) and a Robert Burnaby Park.

  2. robert cooke

    wait for it....

    queue the people ready to bad mouth the reg for yet another ipod story.

  3. David Harper

    God doesn't approve of iPods

    Never mind whether al Qaeda approves of the iPhone. It's obvious that God regards iPods as the instrument of Satan, so using one to listen to religious music is just asking for a zap from the Big G.

  4. jdotc


    I can understand being struck by lightning because of listening to Metallica...... but "religious music"???

    Maybe it was really "In the Garden of Eden" by I. Ron Butterfly.

  5. Steven

    Divine Attention

    "The unnamed victim, reportedly an active church musician and enjoying "religious music" at the time of the incident"

    Obviously the big man "upstairs" wasn't too impressed with his efforts! Although speaking as a devout atheist I suspect it was more to do with the idiot standing under a tree in a thunderstorm which contributed to this guys downfall.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Hit by lightning and,...

    Um, there are loads of people hit by lightning each year because they are under a tree. With the increasing uptake of mp3 players it seems inevitable that someone under a tree who gets hit will have an iPod.

    Which do you think provided the extra conductivity to 'entice' the lightning? The 30ft tree connected to the ground, or the 30cm of wire and 10cm metal box connecting the guy's ear to his pocket or hand.

  7. Jared Earle

    So, iPods in league with Satan?

    It would appear when you're listening to God Botherer music, an iPod will cause you harm, but if you're listening to Heavy Metal, it'll save your life.

    Am I the only one that sees a connection between this and the theories Steve Jobs is in fact SATAN?

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The real point...

    I think the real point here isn't the ipod angle - it's clearly the choice of music. The religious bloke listening to religious music was clearly struck down by god himself and deafened to stop him doing it again, while the metallica fan was actually saved.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    What do you reckon? God was angry that his music was being played on an iPod and not Creative's latest? Maybe the buddhists have got it right after all!

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    you got to wonder...

    Best regards to the unfortunate fellow , I hope he recovers.


    "The unnamed victim, reportedly an active church musician and enjoying "religious music"

    Bahhahaha. lol

    The irony :)

  11. Kenny Swan


    Plays music in church, listening to religious music and showing his love for God, then gets struck by lightning. Ah the irony. You couldn't make stuff like this up. Fantastic. Glad the guy survived though. Still fantastic.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Isn't there an ilightning conductor?

  13. Vernon Lloyd

    Hmm a little ironic....

    I chuckled when I read this because he was hit by an 'act of God' (sorry 'act from your God' to be PC) while listening to 'religious music'.

    However on a serious note, I wonder if the guy would be alive if it was not for his Ipod.

    On the not so serious side this strikes (oops a bit of a pun there) me as the devil protecting him from I wonder if his name is Damien.

    Still he is very lucky to be alive.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Follow religion

    Praise him, worship him, devote your life to him, GET ZAPPED!

    Great advert for the existence (or not) of God and how turning to religion will fulfill your life.


  15. Nick Ryan Silver badge

    Another example of why science is not important...

    ...because if he hadn't skipped science lessons in favour of "ecclesiatical studies" (or whatever his vice was) he may have learnt that the last place you want to be in an electrical storm is under a tree.

    For our next demonstration of why science is not important, we should demonstrate something called an "insulator", particularly in reference to electrical socket covers.

  16. Randy

    Re: Divine Attention

    Stephen you have enough faith to hold onto your beliefs as an atheist? Good for you!

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Which religion? Or not God?

    Maybe he was experimenting with the wrong sort of religious music. Vengeful God (Alanis Morrisette)?

    Besides, might not have been God with the ol' thunderbolt up the sleeve. I remember in the Omen (original, not remake!) where one of the priests was nailed with a lightening conductor off the top of the roof - act of Satan to protect Damien. (though I do remember that confusing me)

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Did anyone take into account that it wasn't so much as the ipod or his religion... but the fact he was stupid enouhg if not stark raving mad to stand under a tree during a lighnting storm?


  19. Paul Gutierrez

    Yall are a joke- atheists= mommy and daddy didnt pay enough attention!!

    Did yall 4get that we are all here and free to do as we please. It wasnt an act of God it was a freggin lightning storm and yes my disadvantaged neighbors lightning does come down from up there. Its not about GOoD and evil frenchies its about the fact that God knows canadians are a waste of matter and likes to be humored by yall. I mean what is with yall coming down here wearing shorts, black socks and sandels; thats fine and all just make sure yall are wearing a shirt that states your canadian- not that you love Celine Dion!!!

  20. Anonymous Coward Silver badge
    Anonymous Coward


    Where is Otto Z. Stern to remind us that far more golfers are struck down every year than iPod listeners? Nothing like metal on your back and metal in your shoes.

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What is Religious Music Anyway?

    What, do they sing about God? People sometimes describe religion as an energizing experience. Guess this guy got the gist. I remember being in a catholic church as a kid. All those supposedly religious, almighty holy candles and stuff. Could still see the $.99 price stuck on the thing.

  22. Kyle

    Isolated Incident?

    Click this link:

    Scroll down to 07/08/2007 and find the name Hailu Kidane Marian. Read the caption.

    Coincidence? I think not.......

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What happened to the ipod????

    No body has mentioned what the condition of the poor ipod is. RIP

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    It's almost as if lighning were exhibiting purposive behavior.... intelligence...?

    Evo-physics anyone?

  25. Sean Nevin


    I read about this in my local paper yesterday actually (I live in the other London) and wondered why people think an iPod (or the music it's playing for that matter) is going to have any effect whatsoever on lightning. It's like people in cars thinking that the rubber tires are going to stop the lightning. Electricity that's traveled through kilometers of air - a VERY poor conductor - is not going to care about a couple centimeters of rubber.

    Granted however, I find the idea of a person being "smited" (or is it "smote"?) while listening to gospel music rather amusing. I'm sorry it happened though, the unfortunate fellow lost 50% of hearing because of it, and can't play music anymore btw.

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Actually ...

    @Sean: 'I find the idea of a person being "smited" (or is it "smote"?) ...'

    Actually, it's "smitten". The lightning smote him: he was smitten by the lightning.


  27. Matthew Rings

    Not statistically significant, nor direct "cause and effect"

    With increasing percentage of people listening to iPods when outdoors, it stands to reason that there will be an increase in people who are struck by lightning that will also, by coincedence, be wearing one.

    The relationship between lightning strikes and iPods may be correlated, but in no way a direct "cause and effect"...

    Understanding these distinctions is something the general public and reporters are nearly completey ignorant. Journalism school should require a semester or two of Statistics, as they "interpret and report" on so many of these types of stories and medical findings to the public, which have an underlying need for understanding statistics and cause & effect.

    Usually, the reporting is a disservice, especially when the headlines are so inflammatory and misleading to the actual underlying facts: misunderstandings that can have huge policy and legal ramifications which are not justified.

    Dr. Rings, MD

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Sean Nevin

    "It's like people in cars thinking that the rubber tires are going to stop the lightning. Electricity that's traveled through kilometers of air - a VERY poor conductor - is not going to care about a couple centimeters of rubber."

    Google "faraday cage"

    Hint, it has nothing to do with the tyres.

  29. Jeff


    Both "smitten" and "smote" are the past tense of "smite". "Smitten" is more often used as a term to imply infatuation, whereas "smote" does not have this ambiguity.

  30. Naiirita


    maybe he had a lapse in faith and asked for a sign?

  31. Scott

    iPod causes lightning strikes

    Geez, ppl!

    The next article will be: Studies show RSS feeds of The Reg cause brain malfunction.

    No actually - <insert country here> iPhone user struck by lightning.

    Can we NOW move on from the iPod pls?

  32. Neil Anderson

    Christian rap?

    He was a closet Metallica fan listening to "Ride the Lightning" followed in heavy rotation by "Fade to Black."

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