Flying a kite on a stormy day is not the wisest thing to do, except, of course, you’re intentionally trying to catch a lightning bolt. The guys from [kreosan] replicated the famous experiment, with which Benjamin Franklin once set out to prove the electrical nature of lightning.
After their first attempt to attract lightning bolts in a storm by flying a kite attached to a grounded metal wire, which surprisingly did not yield a catch, they came up with an even scarier setup: They hooked up the wire to the high-voltage rail of a well-grounded television tube to bias it with a few kilovolts. The experiment worked, and as you can imagine, the TV didn’t take the explosion well. The bolt evaporated its antenna, rampaged through its circuits, blasted off the rear cover and left weld marks on the exciting points before it struck into the ground.
The duo took a few safety measures to ensure that they would walk away with their lives, like a self-unwinding wire coil and a second, non-conductive steering line to launch the kite to higher altitudes. It’s still nuts. Take the video below with a pinch of salt and don’t try this at home.
Thanks to [Jack] for the tip!