24 WTF Pictures From When New York Went Totally Dark In 1977

Over 1 million New Yorkers — in the heat of summer — without lights, air-conditioning, public transit, traffic signals, or alarm systems. What could possibly go wrong?

On the evening of July 13, 1977, New York City went pitch black after a lightning strike set off a chain reaction — effectively shutting down the city's power network, and leaving over 1 million New Yorkers without electricity for 25 hours straight.

By the time the lights turned back on, over 1,000 fires and citywide looting had left the city in shambles. Here's what the scene looked like.