A commenter pointed me to a web site which suggests that Lot’s wife may have been caught in something like a Star Trek transporter beam, a “pillar of vanishing” rather than being turned into a “pillar of salt.”
If you are going to bring in Star Trek, you could also have Lot’s wife become a Salt Vampire. (It will be no surprise that the approach on that website is indebted to Zecharia Sitchin).
The interesting thing is that such approaches are attempting to avoid the more obvious plain meaning of the text, that Lot’s wife was turned into a pillar of salt, since that seems hard to believe when taken literally.
And so the meaning of the text is twisted into something else, so that the interpreter can take their preferred meaning literally, and still claim to believe the Bible to be factually true.
The ironic and self-contradictory character of this approach should not be missed.
The story of Lot’s wife, like that of Sodom and Gomorrah, was presumably aetiological – an attempt to explain the barrenness of the region around the Dead Sea, and the existence of one particular human-looking mineral formation in its vicinity.