[In earliest times], men considered lightning to be one of the great mysteries of nature. Some ancient peoples believed | that lightning and thunder were the weapons of the gods.

[In reality], lightning is a flow of electricity formed high above the earth. A single flash of lightning (1.6 kilometres long) has enough electricity to light one million light bulbs.

The American scientist and statesman, <Benjamin Franklin>, was the first to show the connection between electricity and lightning in 1752. [In the same year] he also built the first lightning rod. This device protects buildings from being damaged by lightning.

Modern science has discovered | that one stroke of lightning has a voltage of [more than] 15 million volts. A flash of lightning between a cloud and the earth may be [as long as] 13 kilometers, and travel at a speed of 30 million meters per second.

Scientists judge | that there are about 2,000 million flashes of lightning per year. Lightning hits the Empire State Building in New York City [30 to 48 times] [a year]. [In the United States (alone)] it kills an average of one person [every day].

The safest place to be in case of an electrical storm is in a closed car. [Outside], one should go to low ground and not get under trees. [Also], one should stay out of water and away from metal fences. [Inside a house], people should avoid open doorways and windows and not touch wires or metal things.

[With lightning], it is better to be safe than sorry?

in reality 实际上, 事实上

Benjamin Franklin 本杰明·富兰克林

between...and... 在...和...之间

lightning rod 1) 避雷针 2) 引火烧身的人(或事)

protect...from... 保护...免受...(破坏/攻击/伤害), 保护...以免...

more than 超过, 不只

as long as 长达...

Empire State Building 帝国大厦

New York 纽约

the United States 美国

in case of... 假使, 万一

electrical storm 电暴;雷暴

go to... 去...

out of 1) 从...出来 2) 离开(某处),不在内; 在外 3) 缺乏(某物); 无

away from... 离...(一段距离)