The fish need to be close to the surface, for one, and fish generally don't get close to the surface of water, especially during storms. Like metal, water is a good conductor, so it encourages the electrical current to travel over its surface rather than delve underneath, the same way a Faraday cage protects its contents from harmful shocks. When lightning strikes the the sea why don't all the fish die? We know that fish in creeks are in very shallow water and should be zapped by lightning pretty well if it was to hit the water. Instead, it spreads along the surface, discharging horizontally. For much the same reason that lightning striking an aircraft does not kill all the passengers! I've been surfing when the water was hit by lightning and all I felt was a warm tingly feeling. It really is dangerous to bathe during a thunderstorm. Even still, lightning does strike the water sometimes.Why doesn't that kill fish by the thousands? There are a couple factors. Before a lightning strike, a charge builds up along the water's surface. Well, fish can be electrocuted by lightning, but it doesn't happen very frequently. What Happens When Lightning Hits Water? The electric charge doesn’t penetrate far into the water. Plus, the ocean is so large that there is far more empty water than water filled with fish. Well, fish can be electrocuted by lightning, but it doesn't happen very frequently. Physics has the answer. What happens when lightning hits the sea, asks Justin Parkinson. But don't be mistaken about this one. But the electricity will spread out very quickly, so further out from where the lightning hit, the fish will only feel a tingle. And not just theoretically dangerous; we're talking 10 to 20 people in the U.S. a year suffer injuries while messing around with household water during a storm [source: O'Connor]. This is because seawater is a good conductor of electricity, and lightning contains a lot! The fish need to be close to the surface, for one, and fish generally don't get close to the surface of water, especially during storms. Water is a good conductor, and a lake or the ocean has a lot of it, so the current density flowing through any chunk of water is not very great. We think that those fish probably don't get hit much since there are usually trees or something that would attract the lightning. When lightning strikes a body of water, what happens is simple. A fish in the open ocean faces a different situation. When lightning strikes the sea, some of the fish nearby will die. It's "easier" for the current to flow around the fish than it is to flow through the fish. https://www.hoax-slayer.net/lightning-hits-water-video-debunked There are a couple factors. This is why there aren’t dozens of dead fish popping up after every storm. The ocean is very, very large and electricity quickly dissipates in the water. 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