It’s real easy to make lightning as lethal as any blizzard, sinkhole, or gas-filled lake. You simply have to add a pinch of gunpowder.

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Lightning strikes dome of St. Peter’s Basilica on Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary. AFP PHOTO / FILIPPO MONTEFORTE

In 1769, the town of Brescia, Italy found out that storing all of its firepower in one place is a good way to lose your town. The council had vaults which stored 100 tons of gunpowder, so when lightning struck the tower of the church where it was held, it set off an explosion that flattened one-sixth of the city was flattened, and killed 3,000 people.

A hundred years later, on the Greek island of Rhodes, lightning hit the steeple of the Cathedral of Saint Jean and set fire to a gigantic cache of boom-boom. In mere seconds, the cathedral was turned into rubble and the city into a crater. 4,000 people perished, and most of the town was completely blown away.

God doesn’t like you keeping your explosives in his house.

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