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Thunder

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Alexander Howard
1385208.  Thu Jul 15, 2021 1:50 am Reply with quote

It used to be believed that the sound of thunder was caused by stones hurled from the heavens in lightning bolts.

It was a common superstition that if I house had a thunderstone in it, lightning would never strike that house. As a result, cottages up an down the land had a stone concealed about them, as a protection. This lasted right into the Victorian age.

Many reputed thunderstones were stone arrowheads or spear tips. Others were belemnites or other distinctive fossils. (I am now struggling to find the book with these details, if I still have it.)

When lightning strikes, it does not leave behind a Stone-Age arrow head, so the belief became established that the stone is driven into the ground by the lightning and emerges seven years later.

Stone arrow heads have turned up over many centuries, and when villagers started imagining them to be thunderstones is not known. A common idea in the Saxon period was that they are 'elf-shot': arrows shot by elves. However a dig somewhere (sources not to hand - sorry) found a thegn's hall with its own archaeological collection laid out, of weapons uncovered from past ages including Stone Age arrow heads, so the owner clearly knew what he had.

 
PDR
1385217.  Thu Jul 15, 2021 4:26 am Reply with quote

Breaking news from our european weather correspondant Sig. Figaro - a shock study advises that thunderbolts and lightning can be very very frightening. More on that story in the main bulletin on the hour.

PDR

 
tetsabb
1385244.  Thu Jul 15, 2021 11:17 am Reply with quote

Alexander Howard wrote:
It used to be believed that the sound of thunder was caused by stones hurled from the heavens in lightning bolts.


Whaddya mean, 'used to be believed'?

 

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