Today is Thursday. (In German, Thursday is Donnerstag; this literally means thunder day.) People fly to the moon, they install equipment on Mars or distant planets, but no scientist was ever able to prevent a thunderstorm. There are actually around 1,000 thunderstorms with about 4-10 million lightnings every day. A thunderstorm is a meteorological/poetic phenomenon described in all human cultures. The fear that comes from it inspired many stories. How could one explain these unsettling light and thunder rumbles? Scientists know a bit of whatever it is that happens up there, but not everything, because thunderstorms are highly complicated.
In pre-scientific age, mystical explanations were given in the form of fairy tales, in order to be able to confront the fear. For the ancient Greek, it was Zeus who had legendary tantrums. And why was he furious? Of course because of human sins! Good behavior was not supposed to be punished, bad behavior was. The Greek poet Aristophanes had a different idea, a bit closer to meteorological thoughts: Thunder existed due to the collision of clouds. In his fury, the Germanic god Donar threw a hammer; others mistook the rant and noise for a driving vehicle of the Gods. According to Christian belief, Saint Peter was responsible for the weather. And whenever he was out, it was believed that the angels were bowling in his absence causing the noise. Another belief was that God was chasing the devil with a blue whip. This alerted people to close their windows, so that the devil would not enter into their homes.
Still scared? Some of you probably are, but this natural phenomenon is also a wonderful inspiration for art, poetry, music and literature.