Watch 15,000 Volts of Raw Power Burn Lightning Strikes into Wood

When lightning flashes across the sky, you only get a chance to glimpse its fractal form for a split second. But when you send 15,000 volts coursing through plywood, you get a much better look at how it grows. Melanie Hoff, a student at the Pratt Institute in New York City did just that, and the result is a timelapse where you can see the patterns slowly grow out and smolder, like lightning made from molasses. [Vimeo Staff Picks]

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DISCUSSION

ActiveX101
ActiveX101

They must have put something on this wood to make it at least somewhat conductive. Only 15,000 volts will not simply do this to a piece of wood, and specially with the leads so far apart. It's an excellent insulator. Would love to know the full technique here.