this is "nightline." tonight, in a flash -- >> just -- boom. >> this 7-year-old struck by lightning in his own home. >> he ended up getting flung back, my hands went to my ears. >> he miraculously survived. but your odds of being hit this month may be greater than you think. plus, watch your back one direction. ♪ these kid rockers started out playing on the streets. ♪ crowd-surfing their way to a record deal worth nearly 2 million bucks. how their brand-new sound is taking the music world by storm. and the real planet of the
apes. they're taking over more than just the box office. we're going all the way to the mountains of rwanda where the true battles have just begun. but first, the ""nightline 5."" >> number one in just 60 seconds. [ heart beating ] [ female announcer ] the internet gets more exciting the faster it goes. that's why, coming soon, xfinity will double the internet speed on two of our most popular plans. xfinity continues to innovate,
good evening. as we go on-air nearly 80 million americans are facing extreme weather tonight. it's the most dangerous month of the year for lightning strikes. as you're about to hear, they can even hit in your own home. here's abc's senior meteorologist ginger zee on how it happens and how you can stay safe. >> reporter: lightning. one of nature's most destructive and unbridled forces. fascinating yet dangerous. ripping through buildings, trees, cars, and even people. killing 12 people already this year, lightning took two lives in two separate incidents at the same park this past weekend in colorado. injuring 20 others. >> we didn't see the bolt. it was just a white flash. >> reporter: even inside your home, lightning can strike. >> all we heard was kaboom! >> all i remember was i was staying with my mom and i got shocked.
>> reporter: in atlanta, 7-year-old sebastian zdeno was struck while inside his house with his mother, cara rivers. cara decided to wait near the bay window for her husband. then lightning struck right through that very window. >> we're standing at the bay window, then all of a sudden we hear this big croosh! both of us on our back, our hands to our ears. i saw my son on the ground, he was smoking. >> reporter: first responders arrived at the scene. >> seeing the hole in the sock i thought he might have lost a foot. >> reporter: sebastian's sock was left charred and his injuries severe, suffering first-degree wounds on his pelvis down to his groin, right arm, back of his body. little sebastian was lucky to survive. his parents still in awe. >> inside of your home. that's where you feel the safest. >> reporter: so what has seemed like lightning hitting so many people? lightning safety specialist, july is the most dangerous month
for lightning strikes. >> july is the peak season in lightning. because people are outside, it's also the month when we have the most lightning fatalities. about 15 people a year die during the month of july. >> reporter: while lightning only strikes 1 in 1 million people, those lucky enough to survive can see lifelong effects. >> there's a pretty good chance that they may have neurological damage. headaches, severe chronic pain, memory loss, personality changes. >> reporter: every thunderstorm has lightning. and the storm does not have to meet severe criteria to contain deadly lightning. for something so common, there's still so much mystery surrounding the brilliant bolts. we don't actually know what happens at the very moment lightning is born. my trend and seasoned storm chaser tim samarras was trying to find that answer. he died last year chasing the el reno, oklahoma, tornado. he spent his years studying
tornados and the environment that surrounds them. he devised technology that continues to help us measure and predict tornados. his quest to learn and inform always inspired him to chase. >> oh my god, that was huge! >> reporter: i had the honor of joining tim on an expedition the summer before his death to study his other love. >> oh, look at that! >> reporter: lightning. >> that was beautiful. >> the problem is everybody's, oh, geez, tim, it's easy. get in your car, hear a rumble of thunder, park next to it, you're in. it's not that easy. sometimes it's almost as difficult chasing a tornado as it is a good lightning storm. >> we're going to see the kah a kahuna. >> yep. >> reporter: tim built this ultra high-speed camera in the hopes he could capture the birth of a lightning strike. >> there's actually 82 cameras on the instrument here taking one picture of the lightning in one microsecond's time. >> reporter: credit ins said it was impossible but tim was never one to shy away from a
challenge. >> i'm not going to give up until this is done. especially as the naysayers tell me it can't be done, it drives me harder. >> reporter: before we left tim kissed his wife good-bye. his son joined us. he'd later die in the same tornado that took his father. back then they wereling tore learn the family business. we covered four states on our journey, more than 800 miles with plenty of disappointing storms. >> yeah, this storm, this storm kicked out several lightning strikes, probably five minutes apart. hardly worth firing the equipment over but it's pretty. >> if rainbow chasing were the goal we did it. >> we scored the f-5 of rainbows. >> reporter: then, just as dark settled in -- >> oh my god, oh my god! >> reporter: due north, a classic thunderstorm busting with lightning. >> all right, that is happening. it's going to come right out. >> that was 12:00. >> reporter: with paul on watch and tim manning the camera they
managed to snag a beautiful image. >> numerous branches then the first one hits the ground and return stroke. starting lightning, starting tornados, are one of the final frontiers in meteorology. those are the things, because they're so fleeting, they're so very difficult to study. you have to get up close and you have to collect imagery, you have to collect data. >> reporter: it's that philosophy to get close to storms that drives meteorologists like us to keep chasing. now tonight, as severe storms rumble across our nation, john has some tips on how you can keep you and your family safe from lightning. tip one, find cover immediately. >> if we look at each fatality, women seem to be better at getting inside when the lightning threat is there. men aren't as good about getting inside when the lightning threatens. >> reporter: tip two, once inside, stay away from water. >> as lightning strikes the home
and goes through the plumbing, it could very easily go through the water and get to you. >> reporter: tip three, stay away from windows and doors. >> if lightning strikes the outside of the home, it could follow that metal doorknob inside. >> reporter: if you're stuck outside? >> a person inside the car will be safe. >> reporter: the best way to avoid a lightning strike, pay attention to the weather and don't get caught in the storm. for "nightline," i'm ginger zee in new york city. >> for more lightning safety tips head to our website at abcnews.com. later on "nightline," gorillas battle in a real-version of "planet of the apes." but first, eighth grade kids make music history. ♪ dysfunction get in your way? talk to your doctor about viagra. ask if your heart is healthy enough for sex. do not take viagra if you take nitrates for chest pain; it may cause an unsafe drop in blood pressure. side effects include headache, flushing, upset stomach, and abnormal vision.
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high are planning summer activities or sports or even camp, tonight you're going to meet some tweens planning a national tour with their band. a heavy metal band that has improbably become an industry sensation. and just landed them a nearly $2 million deal. here's my "nightline" co-anchor dan harris. >> reporter: if you are at all tempted, consciously or subconsciously, to june a book by its cover prepare to be extremely surprised by the music these three kids make. ♪ >> reporter: they're called unlocking the truth. three tweens from new york city. >> what do you like about metal? you can play anything you want, you're good enough to play anything you want, why metal? >> it's fun.
>> reporter: malcolm, garrett, and alex are genuinely making wave in the music world, appearing on commercials and playing massive festivals. their counter intuitive musical odyssey began when they were young kids and malcolm's dad would take his son and jerhd to pro wrestling shows where the background music was metal. >> then you decided, we're going to play metal? >> yeah. >> it sucks. >> it sucks? >> you have to practice. >> we got good in 2012. >> reporter: they added alex on bass and started playing the streets of times square. at first the whole metal thing -- skinny jeans, nail polish -- did not go over well at school. the boys were bullied, called names. >> what things did people say to you? >> gay. >> different variations of it. >> because you're painting your nails? >> they'd stay [ bleep ].
call you gay, homosexual, ansexual, bisexual. >> reporter: then they videos started to go viral. they were invited to play real shows. they were featured in this cole hahn christmas ad. then given a cameo in a dre commercial which conferred upon them street cred and changed the way they were treated. >> oh, we saw you on commercial! >> yeah. >> reporter: now they're a legit band. they're playing bigger and bigger venues including cochella where malcolm did this crowd surfing. days ago the big news, the big fish, a nearly $2 million, five-record deal with sony. no one's more excited than their manager, or momager, malcolm's mother, or their number one cheerleader, malcolm's dad. >> i sleep and eat and drink these kids. it might sound like i'm bragging about these kids, but i'm just
like the proudest dad in the world. >> reporter: not long ago they let "nightline" sit in on a band practice in malcolm's parents' basement. all of the kids' parents were there, ear plugs were handed out. ♪ heavy metal was played. snacks were set out by malcolm's mom. ♪ >> that is incredibly impressive. >> wow, wow. >> you feel like you're sitting in the room with people who are going to be stars and aren't yet. >> wow. wow. >> we'll be able to say, we were here when they were 12. you know? ♪ >> that's intimidating but i'll try it. >> reporter: they may be rising stars but they were cool enough to let an old man sit in on drums. ♪
>> that's the nicest thing anybody's said to me. i'm close on that one? >> yeah, really. >> you play with so much intensity. put me in your head when you're playing. >> i want to impress people. >> yeah. >> it worked. what do the three of you think of justin bieber? ♪ baby baby baby >> oh. >> train wreck. >> oh, god. >> what about his music? >> his music -- >> is good. >> yeah, his music is good for those girls who like him. >> reporter: the next big step for this band, they plan to add vocals soon once they hit puberty and their voices change. >> it's about being who you want to be. do the let anybody knock you down. >> reporter: and there it is. as trite as it may sound that's what these kids embody. they have truly lived out that age-old inspirational message. if you have a dream, go for it. no matter what anybody says.
>> anything else that you want to say now that we're here? >> stay true to yourself. >> yeah. stay true to yourself, don't let anybody knock you down. you have dreams, they're going to come true, no matter what anybody says. >> yeah, it is true. >> reporter: for "nightline," this is dan harris in new york. ♪ next, "dawn of the planet of the apes" is a smash hit at the box office. but in the far reaches of the congo the real gorilla drama is just getting started. ♪ [ cat meows ] ♪ ♪ da-da-da-da-da, bum-da, bum-da ♪ ♪ bum-da, bum-da ♪ the animals went in two by two ♪ ♪ the sheep and the frog and the kangaroo ♪ ♪ and they all went marching, marching in two by two ♪ ♪ [ male announcer ] the nissan pathfinder, with intuitive four-wheel drive. an adventure worth sharing.
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we've all probably seen a movie version of man versus ape. but tonight we're traveling far from home where real primate power struggles are taking center stage. >> i need to speak to caesar! >> reporter: from this weekend's box office hit "dawn of the planet of the apes" all the way back to the 1933 classic "king kong," the fictitious conflict between man and ape has long captivated us. >> apes do not want war! >> people are fascinated because of how much they remind us of ourselves. they're magical creatures, highly intelligent, highly social. and there's something very
fascinating and very mysterious about them that makes them i think alluring to all of us. >> reporter: "national geographic" spent several years deep in the jungles of rwanda and the congo documenting the lives of those mysterious beasts in their special "kingdom of the apes." >> primates are unique in the animal world in that all of the behavior is learned. very -- just like humans. there is no instinct. it's really what they get from the parents. >> reporter: like their human counterparts, these 400-pound gentle giants endure plenty of drama. >> they form alliances. they form bands along the same lines of political lines. and there is that desire to be the leader. >> reporter: here in the mountains of rwanda, the voting booth is replaced by natural selection. their fearless leader is titus, a 400-pound silver back.
>> titus is an amazing gorilla. he held that family group together for more than 30 years, which is unheard of really in the gorilla world. >> reporter: and now it's titus' own son, koriama, who threatens his seat in this gorilla "game of thrones." >> gorilla groups are very stable. but in a situation like titus, where he's -- he's older, he's not as capable. an opportunity presents itself for other silver backs who are pining away for that position. >> reporter: will this finally be the end of titus '30-ytitus' reign? >> in gorilla groups the silver back is always leader. the female also has a huge voice. the female has to want to follow that leader or he loses the entire family group. >> reporter: titus leads his tribe 4,000 feet up the mountains. but koriama follows. here at the top of mt. vesoki,
in nearly freezing temperatures, the tribe must choose between the two. after a three-day standoff, koriama wins a majority, leaving tight does with only six of his most loyal subjects. meanwhile, to the west, another battle is brewing in the remote congo rain forest. where scientists only recently discovered there could be as many as 100,000 gorillas making up many tribes. this one led by kingo. >> there's no question he's a good silver back. and his females seem to feel the same because they've stuck with him a long time too. >> reporter: now an outsider threatens to dethrone him. with surprisingly nonaggressive tactics, kingo fights off the challenger. >> they will chest beat, they will charge, they will take a large branch and knock it to the ground. so all of these things are done to intimidate the opponent.
>> reporter: finally, the opponent backs down. and kingo's kingdom is safe. >> not all gorillas are cut out to be leaders. and not all gorillas are ever going to achieve that. and so there is a vying for this position. but very few gorillas get to be silver backs. >> "kingdom of the apes" airs next thursday, july 24th, on nat geo wild. thanks for watching abc news. "world news now" is coming up soon. tune into go"good morning ameri" and as always we're online at abcnews.com. good night.