THE terrifying truth behind a woman's beach selfie has been revealed – as she was warned she was close to death.
The picture shared by Natalie Stevens while walking her dog in Jersey in the Channel Islands showed how her hair suddenly stood on end.
The selfie set off alarm bells with many people when posted on Facebook – and the beachgoer was warned she had come close to death.
Experts warned that she was in immediate danger of being struck by lightning with violent storms raging nearby.
Natalie described having a "tingly feeling" in her head while being aware of "thunder" roaring in the distance.
She shared her selfie from walking on La Rocque beach at 7.30am, posting it on the Jersey Weather Chat Facebook page.
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And people were quick to point out in the comments how fortunate she was to survive the experience with stormy weather looming.
One pointed out: "That's a sign of being in danger of being struck by lightning!
"You were very lucky that you weren't."
She was also told: "FYI, if this happens again it's a signal that lightning is going to strike you."
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Another social media user wrote: "You are very lucky, as this is a sure sign that you are potentially about to be struck by lightning."
And someone else wrote: "You are one lucky woman to still be alive."
More signs that lightning could be about to strike include nearby rocks and fences developing a "buzzing" or "blue glow" appearance.
A British tourist to the Greek island of Rhodes, 26-year-old Scott Seddon, died in May when struck by lightning while paddleboarding.
The following month football referee Mustapha Bello was killed by a lightning strike during a match in Nigeria.
And a horrified mum in Sheffield in South Yorkshire told last month how her six-year-old daughter was hurled across the room by lightning through a window during a storm, leaving her with blisters.
Three people on average are killed in the UK each year by lightning, according to the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents.
They say lightning strikes the ground in Britain about 300,000 times annually, hitting between 30 and 60 people over 12 months.
The Met Office has been issuing warnings of thunderstorms across this August bank holiday long weekend – with potential flooding, travel disruption and loss of power.
What your hair standing on end in a thunderstorm means – and what to do
Hair is known to "stand on end" when a thunderstorm is about to break and can be a sign of impending danger, according to the Australian Bureau of Meteorology.
The phenomenon is caused by a strong electric charge building up in the surrounding area where and when a lightning strike is imminent.
Hair is made up of atoms and electrons within them can become positively charged, causing static.
Experts advise people to "move immediately" if finding it happens to you when outside.
The US National Weather Service tells people whose hair suddenly stands on end to "drop to your knees and bend forward".
And Britain's Met Office advises: "Seek shelter if possible.
"When you hear thunder you are already within range of where the next ground flash may occur.
"Lightning can strike as far as 10 miles away from the centre of a storm."
They also say anyone finding themselves caught in a lightning storm outdoors in an exposed area should squat close to the ground, with hands on your knees and head tucked between them.
The Met Office adds: "If you feel your hair stand on end, drop to the above position immediately."
But both they and Australia's Bureau of Meteorology warn not to lie flat because wet ground is a good conductor of electricity.
Best shelters to find include metal-bodied vehicles or solid buildings but not fabric tents or small open structures, they say – and people should also resist any temptation to take cover under trees.
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