Excerpt from Littell's Living Age: 14 September, 1844
A small charge sent through the spine instantly deprives the person for a moment of all muscular power, and be generally falls to the ground. If the charge be very powerful, instant death is occa sioned. Mr. Singer states that a charge passed through the head gave him the sensation of a vio lent and universal blow, which was followed by a transient loss of memory and indistinctness of vision. A small charge sent through the head of a bird will so far derange the Optic nerve as to pro duce permanent blindness; and a coated surface of thirty square inches of glass will ex aust the whole nervous system to such a degree a to cause immediate death. Animals the most tenacious of life are destroyed by energetic shocks passed through the body. Van Marum found that eels are irrecoverably deprived of life when a shock is sent through their whole body; when only a part of the body is included in the circuit, the destruo tion is confined to that individual part, while the rest retains the power of motion.
The bodies of animals killed by lightning are found to undergo rapid putrefaction; and it is a remarkable circumstance, that after death the blood does not coagulate.
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