rubbed your sneakers across the carpet and reached out to give your friends a mini electric shock? That tiny zap of electricity works in the same way as huge bolts of lightening in a rainstorm… just on a smaller and less "shocking" scale. All matter contains charged particles called electrons. When two different objects - like shoes and carpet, or a comb and your hair - are rubbed together, one object loses some electrons while the other picks up extra electrons. This imbalance causes static, or trapped electricity to build up. The only way for these charged electrons to escape is by - ZAP!- releasing a small bolt of electricity.