When lighting strikes where do you run??? To the building with the giant metal pole shooting into the sky right? The answer is yes as counter-intuitive as it sounds, lightning rods have been around for hundreds of years to protect buildings that could otherwise be quickly destroyed by a severe strike. But just how does a all object we'd think to run away from protect us? The answer lies with one of the founding fathers.
Ben Franklin, the genius inventor, ambassador and lover of so-called, "air baths" (sitting around naked), also developed the modern lightning rod. He developed the rods knowing two things: one, that his rod would prevent the buildup of energy in a structure preventing a lighting bolt from damaging it and two, that if lightning did somehow strike that the energy would be grounded before it could destroy whatever structure it was attached to.
The first claim of Franklin's is proven today by real fact. That is that lightning bolts are prevented from damaging the structure because of the geometry of the rod. This happens because a pointed object cannot store much energy since it is long and pointed. This then "bleeds off" the energy stored in your house that is naturally present. it equalizes the energy present and prevents any energy buildup at all so that none of the ill-effects of lightning can take affect.
But the other part of Franklins plan made sure that even if this first theory failed that crisis could still be avoided!
His second idea was that in the case of a lightning strike the lightning would hit the tallest structure, which would be the large rod, the rods are connected to ground so that any buildup of charge can be immediately diverted into the ground instead of the structure.
So the magic of lighting rods continues and protects the likes of churches, schools and homes alike! Thanks again Benny!
Picture from uncyclopedia.wikia.com