Natural Wonders

Venezuela’s Catutumbo Lightning Phenomenon

By December 9, 2017 January 23rd, 2019 No Comments

Does lightning strike at the same place twice? It sure does in Venezuela.

Drift down the River Catutumbo and watch the coolest lightning show you can ever find on earth. The Lighthouse of Maracaibo or the Catutumbo Lightning are powerful bolts occurring strictly in a spot near the mouth of the river where it gushes over into Lake Maracaibo. It strikes 280 times per hour, 10 hours per day, 140 to 160 nights a year, and is easily seen from miles away.

The Catutumbo Lightning is theorized to originate from ionized gases emitted by the decomposition of organic matter from a swamp which reacts to cooler air blowing from the Andes Mountains. This reaction creates an electrical charge of great intensity, producing powerful lightning bolts that reach more than 5 km in height. The lightning flashes occur most often in the afternoon when evaporation is greatest.

The Catutumbo Lightning was also found to be a major regenerator of the planet’s ozone layer, producing approximately 1,176,000 kW of atmospheric electricity.

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