The Catatumbo region in Venezuela has the world’s most lighting storms. The lightning storms occur an amazing 140-160 nights per year, may last up to 10 hours at a time, and have up to 280 strikes per hour. Almost all the lightning is cloud to cloud lightning, is reported as having almost no sound of thunder, and can be seen for hundreds of miles away.
The reason for the lightning storms is thought to be from methane gases rising from the swampy area and strong upper level winds from the Andes Mountains, causing storm clouds. What is neat about this phenomenon is that it maybe the world’s greatest ozone generator that replenishes the earth’s ozone layer. It is reported that the storms produce 1,176,000 kW of atmospheric electricity per year.
The region is trying to get UN protection and attention to this rare phenomenon to help bring in tourism to the area. It must be an amazing sight, but the almost no sound part puts the dampers on it being an awesome audio recording location.
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