When you’re hiking with a group during a lightning storm, especially in an open field, you should always spread out. That way if lightning strikes one member of the group, it’s unlikely to electrocute the others. 

The reason for this important safety tip comes from the fact lightning can jump from one object another, especially when it’s wet. That became evidently clear after a tragic event in Norway that was right out of a zombie apocalypse movie. 

Norwegian wildlife officials made the macabre discovery of 323 reindeer lying dead in an open field, all of which the apparent victims of a single lightning strike. 

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Images of the carnage circulated on-line via the Norwegian Environment Agency, quickly drawing the attention of viewers worldwide. It goes down as the deadliest single lightning strike in recorded history, according to an article in the Washington Post.

A single game keeper reportedly stumbled on the scene as 70 young reindeer were still alive among the fields of corpses. Among Norway’s southern mountain regions there are an estimated 25,000 reindeer.

“We’ve never seen anything like this on this scale,” agency official Kjartan Knutsen told AFP.”There were very strong storms in the area on Friday. The animals stay close together in bad weather and these ones were hit by lightning.”

Photo credit: Havard Kjotvedt/Norwegian Environment Agency