Nighttime Transformer Explosions in Fort Worth, Texas

Have you seen this video? If not, stop what you’re doing right now and watch. Amazing. Tragic, but amazing. From the Youtube site of user Brian Luenser, who recorded and posted the video:

This is the aftermath of a pretty brutal thunderstorm in Fort Worth Texas on May 10, 2011. It was taken from my balcony on the 34th floor of a building in Fort Worth. Though I thought we were at war or was terrorism, it was a massive series of downed 7,200 volt power lines. As I took it with my 70-200 2.8L IS lens, it is farther away than it looks. (it is 5 miles away) That is why there are not explosion sounds. This was a very well documented event. I was on my balcony to take lightning pictures (Yes, not smart) and this started happening in front of me. I turned my camera (Canon 5d MkII) to video mode and let it roll.

Crazy. There’s a bit more about the video there and the way it was recorded, too. The colors are absolutely beautiful. Almost unbelievable.  Explosions in the distance look like the explosions of war.

Watch, totally worth it:

  • anasana

    Jim, thanks for this, 5 miles in humid air is not that far for sound to travel. Why is there no sound?

  • Aaron

    There is “no sound” because of attenuation over distance. Let’s assume that the noise produced by one of the explosions is 130dB at one meter. Over 5 miles, the resulting SPL is just 51dB. This is well below the apparent noise from area around the camera. If you listen closely, you actually can hear some noises from other systems’ relays clattering as the line voltage drops and surges. These relays are likely much closer to the photographer.