At the behest of Nokia, which I guess is trying to position itself as the brand of choice for the post-apocalypse, researchers at the University of Southampton in the U.K. have managed to charge a cellphone using lab-created lightning. The implication is clear: If your phone is dead and you don’t have access to a charger, just take it out into a field in the middle of a violent storm and hold it above your head. Shut up, that is obviously the clear implication.

The researchers, led by Neil Palmer, created 200,000-volt artificial lightning, which they drove into a controlling transformer. This is a huge amount of electricity — most U.S. outlets deliver 120 volts maximum — but the phone, a Nokia 925, was able to charge off it within seconds.


It’s important to note that Nokia requested this experiment, so, you know, take it with a grain of salt. But this is clearly the most metal way to charge a phone, narrowly edging out charging it with fire.

Um, and in case it needs to be stated explicitly, really do not do that thing I said with the field and the storm. Lab-created domesticated lightning is a whole different beast from the feral stuff.