Lightning over London: Sailors, superstition and the open sea

Posted by on Apr 15, 2013 | No Comments

Lightning has fascinated people for centuries. We know what causes a lightning strike today, but what did people believe about lightning before the eighteenth century?

Historian Simon Webb shares some of the beliefs, superstitions and myths early cultures and sailors held around the mystery of lightning. Lightning was deadly at sea and if it struck a ship it could topple it and kill everyone on board. English sailors developed some strange superstitions to keep such danger at bay such as the belief that black cats carried lightening in their tails! Tune in on Thursday, April 18th at 9pm ET/PT on HISTORY (Canada) to watch this episode of Museum Secrets: Inside the National Maritime Museum, London.