John Takao Collier writes:
Bizarre scientific things seem to happen to me between 4 and 5 am.
A couple of nights ago, a thunderstorm rolled in around 4:30 am. The approaching storm woke me up, but basic laziness kept me from jumping out of bed to check for basketball-sized hail or untethered houses flying by. I laid in bed with my eyes closed, listening to the thunder getting closer and closer. Then something very strange happened – across my visual field (or whatever you would call it, given that I was “seeing” the darkness of the inside of my eyelids) a moving pattern of random black and white specks, very much like television snow, flickered for a fraction of a second.
My immediate reaction was “Oh oh, the next one is gonna be really clo…”
The damn thing sounded like it was right outside my window. It’s a good thing that I have adequate bladder control.
A minute or two later, when the spike of adrenaline wore off, I started to wonder just what had occurred. Was my optic nerve, or the visual center in my brain, momentarily zapped by the nearby electrostatic field? Did I briefly channel a vision from an alien analog TV? Did I eat too much garlic the night before?
Recently, magnetically induced hallucinations were suggested as an explanation for ball lightning, so perhaps my visual cortex was temporarily overloaded by lightning-induced magnetic fields. Maybe lightning is attracted to garlic (sort of like an anti-vampire).
The next day, I did an Google search for “lightning” and “television snow” (and similar search terms) but didn’t get any hits. So, I’m curious if anyone else has experienced this phenomenon. I ask my gentle readers, have any of you had a similar “TV snow” effect during a thunderstorm? Comment away.