# Why are birds not electrocuted?

Discussion in 'Electronics Resources' started by Ala888, Jun 27, 2014.

1. ### Ala888 Thread Starter New Member

Jun 26, 2014
15
0
Hello, the question really bothers me.
essentially, electrocution is an unwanted flow of current through the body
if this is the case, what is difference between a bird on a wire and me touching
the wire. I illustrate my confusion with this diagram
as seen in the form of a circuit, isnt the body of the bird and mine the same?

how come current goes through me, but not bird?

2. ### anhnha Well-Known Member

Apr 19, 2012
783
49
The voltage across the bird is almost zero while it is power supply voltage across you.

3. ### Ala888 Thread Starter New Member

Jun 26, 2014
15
0
so technically, the bird is also getting electrocuted, its just that very little current is passing through it. k

if we remove the middle "house" resistor, would both the bird and I be safe then?

4. ### MrCarlos Active Member

Jan 2, 2010
400
135
Hi Ala888

You say:
As seen in the form of a circuit, is not it the body of the bird and mine the same?

No, not exactly.
Look closely the bird, only touches a wire while You touch one to close the circuit where you stand.

5. ### Ala888 Thread Starter New Member

Jun 26, 2014
15
0

this is how i see things
isnt the bird and me the same thing?
how do we differ?
we're just standing in different locations, but i dont see any obvious distinctions between the two

Jan 2, 2010
400
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7. ### Ala888 Thread Starter New Member

Jun 26, 2014
15
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woops, its meant to say *like it did the bird

Am I right now? do i finally understand?

8. ### inwo Well-Known Member

Nov 7, 2013
2,441
315
More like this.
Bird has only one contact point.
Insulated feet you're safe.

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9. ### inwo Well-Known Member

Nov 7, 2013
2,441
315
Yes and no.

Impossible circuit. Short circuit is not allowed.

If it was there would be zero voltage anywhere on circuit. And safe.

In practice the circuit would shut down explosively.

10. ### Ala888 Thread Starter New Member

Jun 26, 2014
15
0
giant noob again, why do I need to insulate the feet?
I've already read where 'Oh because it indirectly connects you to circuit'
but how?
wouldnt the pathway between my feet and ground back to wire be a massive resistor to such an extent that electrons would have no preference to go through me (a trafficjammed tunnel), as opposed to
the massive freeway that is the wire?
==============================================

"Yes and no.

Impossible circuit. Short circuit is not allowed.
"
but if it did exist, i would be safe. correct?

11. ### inwo Well-Known Member

Nov 7, 2013
2,441
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To many scenarios.

12. ### MrCarlos Active Member

Jan 2, 2010
400
135
oh boy

• ###### Erase Me.jpg
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Ala888 likes this.
13. ### MrChips Moderator

Oct 2, 2009
14,509
4,277
This lineman is riding a HV line that carries 500,000 volts and the lineman is not electrocuted, the same situation as a bird on the wire.

The reason it is not safe for you to touch a HV wire is because your feet on the ground creates a circuit through your body.

Ala888 likes this.
14. ### Ala888 Thread Starter New Member

Jun 26, 2014
15
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am i right now?

Jul 18, 2013
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This deer was not so lucky!
Max.

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16. ### MrChips Moderator

Oct 2, 2009
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Not quite right.

Touch only one spot on the wire. With two hands and two legs touching the wire, you can only touch the same spot at the same time.

17. ### Ala888 Thread Starter New Member

Jun 26, 2014
15
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what? no comprendo. what do you mean by that?

18. ### MrChips Moderator

Oct 2, 2009
14,509
4,277
In your diagram, you have drawn three limbs touching different locations or wires. That will result in electrocution.

If both hands grab the same spot on the wire, you're safe, presuming you are hanging in mid-air on the HV line. The problem is how you get there in the first place.

A helicopter has to take you there:

19. ### Ala888 Thread Starter New Member

Jun 26, 2014
15
0
why would it electrocute me ?
my limbs, no matter where Im touching, presents an incredibly large resistance as compared
to the little to no resistance wire. Why would electrons want to flow through me instead?

20. ### MrChips Moderator

Oct 2, 2009
14,509
4,277
Doesn't matter how high your body resistance. High voltage will find a path through your body and kill you.

Here is an example.

As a teenager, I was working on a tube amplifier with a 400VDC power supply.
The amp was on a wooden desk and I was sitting on a wooden chair on a wood floor. Wood is a good insulator, right?
The power was turn off. I reached in with my hand and touched the circuit. Next thing I knew I was thrown across the room off my chair. Luckily, I'm here to tell the tale.

Last edited: Jun 27, 2014