Why is it so unique?
So, is a Fulgurite created every time lightning strikes the ground? The answer would be, probably not. Researchers from the University of Florida Department of Electrical and Computer engineering have been studying the effects of lightning on power lines above and below the ground at their research facility at Camp Blanding near Starke Florida since 1994. Their findings have been that lighting will blow sand up, it will "eat" the soil, and will sometimes form a Fulgurite. They have found that the higher the silica and quartz content of soil and the more densely it is packed, the more likely it is to create a Fulgurite.
Researchers have also found that lightning will strike the ground and then travel to the water table, sometimes branching out under ground for a few feet before it stops. In 1996, they found a very large Fulgurite that has set a world record for its size.
Florida boasts the greatest number of Fulgurite since that state also has some of the highest number of lightning strikes with 10-15 strikes per square kilometer each year. Fulgurites have also been found on the tops of some of the worlds higher mountains like the Alps, Sierra Nevada's, Cascades, Wasatch and Uinta mountain ranges.
Fulgurites created in nature can range anywhere from a couple of inches to several feet with a thickness from that of a drinking straw to several inches in diameter. You can even create Fulgurite in a lab setting by passing (arcing) electricity through high-silica sand, but these are small, only an inch or two in length.
Stereoscopic picture a small tube Fulgurite and a more irregular one.