"Ball lightning is one of the most mysterious phenomena in nature. Now scientists have created a laboratory version of the eerie floating orbs using technology taken from a common microwave oven.
The work could help scientists figure out how the lightning forms in nature and lead to practical applications that harness its power.
In the wild, the little bundles of energy are typically only a few centimeters across, although some have been reported to be the size of beach balls or larger. They are closely associated with regular lightning and thunderstorms and have been seen in many different colors.
Witnesses report hissing sounds and an acrid ozone odor when the lightning balls appear. The vivid apparitions normally hover or float around for only a few seconds before vanishing suddenly, either silently or with an explosive bang.
Although people have known about ball lightning for centuries, scientists have yet to come up with an explanation that accounts for all of the strange properties."
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