# When touching an electric wire, why do you become electrocuted when touching the ground, but not when you hang in it (or stand on it like a bird)?

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When touching an electric wire, why do you become electrocuted when touching the ground, but not when you hang in it (or stand on it like a bird)?

In:

When just hanging you are a broken circuit; the least path of resistance is for the electricity to keep going. When you touch the ground the circuit is complete and the electricity can pass through you into ground.

Electricity has one goal – to reach the ground. When you are in contact with the wire and the ground you present a bridge for the electricity to reach its goal so it passes through you, fucking you up a bit on the way.

A bird doesn’t present a path to do the ground so electricity doesn’t give a fuck

Electricity flows along the easiest path to ground, so if you aren’t touching anything other than the wire, then you aren’t connecting it to ground. When you touch the ground and the wire, you become the bridge from the source to ground, the current flows through you, you get shocked.

The ground is like Disneyland to electricity. It wants to go there so bad but it also can not without a path with low resistance. When you stand on the ground touching a live conductor, you act as a low resistance bridge to electricity Disneyland.

When you receive a shock it is because you are touching 2 (or more) points that have different potentials (current) electricity is very similar to water in that it always wants to be level if you touch a cable with 240v and the ground which is 0v you get a shock of 240v. If you touch a cable at 240v and 230v you’ll only get a 10v, this is why you don’t get a shock when hanging from a cable both points of contact have the same potential.

Electricity works using potential difference to flow, from high potential to low potential, it’s exactly like how every object placed at a higher altitude will fall to the ground. In case of electricity, we consider earth or ground to be 0 (because of the massive amounts of electrons in it), since electricity in the cable is flowing from one point that is high to another point that is low (and eventually into ground) it would be happy to take any shortcut it’s given, like your body in this example. But, if the voltage difference (potential difference between two positive and negative wires are high enough and you hold both of them in your hands you could get electrocuted – – often resulting in cardiac arrhythmia)

Tl;dr electricity tries to go to ground and if you use your hands to connect both the ends, you are a shortcut it wouldn’t mind using.