It is difficult to find a phenomenon, the data about which would contradict each other as strongly as about ball lightning. This can be explained by the fact that it appears quite rarely, and people who are completely unskilled in this area usually become witnesses.
Nikola Tesla began to study physics in order to understand the nature of ball lightning. In the 19th century, in the era of great scientific discoveries, to many scientists this task seemed feasible. A century later, mankind has learned to hold plasma in a powerful electromagnetic field. But it was not possible to simulate ball lightning in laboratory conditions. Whether it is plasma or something else is not known for certain.
Due to the lack of experimental data, all information about the phenomenon is based only on eyewitness accounts or, at best, on photo and video filming. This situation naturally raises doubts about the very existence of ball lightning. But due to her too frequent appearances and numerous eyewitness accounts, mistrust fades away.
On the territory of Russia, ball lightning is most often observed in Altai, in Khakassia, near Orenburg, in the Voronezh region. In Ukraine - south of Kharkov. That is, at latitudes between 49 ° and 55 °. Usually in sparsely populated areas with hills without large bodies of water. Eyewitnesses note the high temperature of the atmosphere (+ 30oC and above) and the long absence of rain. Sometimes after the "visit" a thunderstorm with a downpour begins.
Normal line lightning strikes hundreds of people a year, and even more livestock. However, few can boast of being close to the epicenter of the explosion. There is no such. They died. With ball lightning, the situation is different. There is evidence of the unhindered passage of ball lightning through people without causing harm to health. And most often she completely bypasses the person. In some cases, the touch of lightning did absolutely no harm, in a number of other cases the person had burns, but not fatal ones.
Ball lightning predominantly travels horizontally a meter above the ground. Its movement is quite chaotic. It can penetrate into rooms even through small openings. Most often, ball lightning is accompanied by a noise effect, for example, crackling, squeaking, other sounds are possible. The duration of the existence of the phenomenon ranges from a few seconds to several hours. Then an explosion usually occurs, sometimes it slowly fades out or disintegrates into separate parts. The size of ball lightning fluctuates, but does not exceed a meter. The shape is generally described as spherical, and the radiant power is estimated to be roughly the same as a conventional lighting bulb.