The “Relámpago del Catatumbo” (‘Catatumbo lightning’) is a unique phenomenon in the world.
Located on the mouth of the Catatumbo river at Lake Maracaibo (Venezuela), the phenomenon is a cloud-to-cloud lightning that forms a voltage arc more than five kilometre high during 140 to 160 nights a year, 10 hours a night, and as many as 280 times an hour.
Have you ever heard of a place in Venezuela where there is an everlasting lightning storm? Yes, it’s also called the Catatumbo Lightning. And if you continue reading this article you will learn everything you need about this natural phenomenon. Enjoy the pictures and videos.
What is The Catatumbo Lightning Phenomenon?
This almost permanent storm occurs over the marshlands where the Catatumbo River feeds into Lake Maracaibo.
It is considered the greatest single generator of ozone in the planet, judging from the intensity of the cloud-to-cloud discharge and great frequency.
How Many Lightning Bolts strike at Catatumbo?
The area sees an estimated 1,176,000 electrical discharges per year, with an intensity of up to 400,000 amperes, and visible up to 400 km away.
How is the Catatumbo Lightning phenomenon created?
The collision with the winds coming from the Andes Mountains causes the storms.
The associated lightning is the a result of electrical discharges through ionised gases, specifically methane, created by the decomposition of organic matter in the marshes.
Being lighter than air, the gas rises up to the clouds, feeding the storms.
This is the reason why the storm is also known as the Maracaibo Beacon as light has been used for navigation by ships for ages.
Are the Catatumbo Lightning Soone UNESCO Heritage?
Some local environmentalists hope to put the area under UNESCO heritage protection.
The natural pehnomenon is indeed exceptional and represents the greatest source of its type for regenerating the planet’s ozone layer.
Amazing nature phenomenon!
I would once like to visit this mysterious place in Venezuela!
Have you already been to the Catatumbo lightning?