It’s the kind of selfie that you really wouldn’t want to take, but it has to be said that the resulting photo (below) is rather extraordinary.
The bizarre incident occurred when siblings Rachel, Isobel, and Andrew Jobson decided to take a break while out cycling during a recent ride through south-west London, U.K. While resting beneath a tree, a heavy storm suddenly kicked off.
According to a BBC report, while they waited for the rain to stop, Isobel decided to take a selfie. But in the very same moment that she pressed the shutter, a bolt of lightning struck, knocking all three of them to the ground and leaving them with burns that resulted in a trip to hospital.
— New York Post (@nypost) July 15, 2021
Isobel told the BBC that no sooner had she pressed the shutter on her phone, she was suddenly “on the ground and couldn’t hear anything apart from this high-pitched buzzing,” adding, “My whole right arm was numb and I couldn’t move it.”
Rachel said she suffered burns on her thigh and stomach and for a while couldn’t feel her arm. “We were taking the picture with our phone and then the next thing, I was on the ground,” she said. “I felt disjointed. My sister and I were screaming.”
All three were taken to a nearby hospital for treatment and released a short while later.
The trio ended up with an astonishing selfie, but they could so easily have lost their lives in the incident.
According to official data, in the U.S., for example, an average of 40 people a year die from lightning strikes, though at the time of writing there have been no reports of lightning-related fatalities in the country in 2021.
If you fancy photographing lightning (from a safe distance) rather than being struck by it, check out this handy Digital Trends guide telling you all you need to know.