Nothing less than human created lightning. The massive fields generated by resonance between pairs of stepped up induced capacitors create potential differences greater than the resistance of air between the coil and a nearby conductor. This allows fractal currents to flow as the air itself conducts and ionizes.
Although Tesla coils are largely created for fun by dedicated enthusiasts, they originally had a real purpose in mind. Tesla figured that he could create a wireless electrical grid and went as far as to build a tower on Long Island that would be its first transmitter. The idea was never realized, however in Russia really large scale wireless power networks were actually tried, as can be seen in this list.
Vote for your faves.
Posted by David Galbraith
Update: see the comments. Although this is extremely high voltage, it is not a wireless power transmitter.
10 abandoned subway stations | 10 anti-masturbation devices | 10 antique phonographs | 10 best power strip designs | 10 classic jacob jensen gadgets | 10 classic reel-to-reel recorders | 10 console light guns | 10 dry land submarines | 10 enormous floating cranes | 10 failed automobile manufacturers | 10 flea circus contraptions | 10 gas guzzlers | 10 james dyson inventions | 10 luxury trains | 10 massive steam hammers | 10 money making machines | 10 mud huts yurts tents and an igloo with satellite | 10 neat camera hacks | 10 notable olympic flame cauldron designs | 10 obsolete web browsers | 10 rocket launch pads | 10 ski jumps | 10 strange snow vehicles | 10 transparent watches | 10 unboring ferris wheels | 10 unoperational operating theaters | 10 videos of ejection seat tests | 10 voting machines | 12 abandoned hospitals | 12 absurd olympic events | 12 advertainment video games | 12 alternative versions of famous monuments | 12 architects with architects glasses | 12 awful GUIs | 12 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snowplows | 20 unusual tractor designs | 2007 countdown clocks | 3 forth bridge demos | 3d printed products | 8 Classic Nakamichi Cassette Decks | 8 extreme truck load videos | 8 inflatable military decoys | 8 inflatable shelters | 8 moving houses videos | 8 pointless uses of carbon fiber | 8 Sky Hooks | 8 super skinny buildings | 9 bathing machines | 9 depressing views of famous monuments | 9 diabolical teamaking contraptions | 9 diving bells | 9 early remote controls | 9 ghost towns of the recession | 9 good for you ads | 9 mine diagrams | 9 nail houses | 9 non submarine periscopes | 9 permanent temporary structures | 9 real wireframe models | 9 reasons why the highline sucks | 9 retro bomb shelters | 9 Roger Tallon Designs | 9 ronco gadgets | 9 screw drivers | 9 secure phones | 9 Strange Edison Inventions | 9 utopian architectural projects | 9 Vintage Monorails | 9 vintage x ray machines | a dozen vintage spy radios | a visual history of video recorders | abandoned pools | abandoned 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