Dramatic Photos Show Tree Burning From the Inside Out

A massive tree in Ohio that was struck by a lightning bolt looked sinister as it burned from the inside out, as glowing red hot flames spiraled up the trunk. Lightning bolts have a temperature of 50,000º F, meaning the tree was set ablaze with flames that would have initially been 10 times hotter than the surface of the sun. The blaze started early Tuesday morning as severe storms moved through Ridgeville Township, Ohio, located about 45 miles southwest of Toledo. The storms brought damaging winds and heavy rainfall to the area, as well as dangerous lightning. Firefighters from Ridgeville Township Volunteer Fire Department responded to the burning tree that's located on a large parcel of land near a barn and a storage unit, with a corn field nearby. Flames moved along the tree's interior trunk, while the outer branches and the rest of the tree's branches and leaves remained healthy and unaffected. The surrounding property was untouched by the fire as well. Fire officials said that they had a tough time getting to every hot spot in the tree trunk, so they called in a tree service to cut down the tree to ensure that they could extinguish all the flames. Purdue University experts offered an explanation to why this natural phenomenon occurred. Trees apparently serve as natural lightning rods, and their sap serves as a conductor. In addition, the fact that they grow in rings means their insides are composed of layers that can catch fire and burn from within, while the outside initially appears stable.