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YouTuber srobbin identifies this as a “500kV switch opening up in the Nevada desert,” but provides very little detail otherwise. Still: Holy smoke. It arcs for a good six seconds, with a sight and a sound that, even on video, is pretty terrifying. In person…well, I’m not sure I can even begin to imagine what it would be like.

Sean Michael Ragan

I am descended from 5,000 generations of tool-using primates. Also, I went to college and stuff. I write for MAKE, serve as Technical Editor for MAKE magazine, and develop original DIY content for Make: Projects.



  1. lwb250 says:

    This is actually a circuit interrupter on a high voltage transmission line. The source video with description can be seen at:

  2. Monk says:

    No matter what it is, it’s still wicked pissa cool!

    The local AM radio stations must love it when that happens.

  3. drewski_brewski says:

    There is another famous, dramatic video all over YouTube of a substation experiencing a major meltdown in Florida, I think. It’s well worth locating.

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