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The strange village is constantly “hit by the sky”, receiving 10 lightning strikes a day, tourists flock to admire

“Lightning never strikes twice in the same place” is a common saying you may have heard before, but this is not true for Maracaibo.

For centuries now, the area of ​​the Catatumbo River estuary that empties into Lake Maracaibo, in the state of Zulia, in northwestern Venezuela holds the Guinness World Record for the maximum number of lightning strikes in a minute. Here, every year there are about 160 nights of lightning strikes and 10 hours a day. Lightning strikes 280 times per hour, about 40 times per minute, equivalent to 1.2 million lightning strikes per year. This amazing natural phenomenon is called Catatumbo lightning.

“River of fire in the sky”, “river of fire from the sky” or “Relámpago del Catatumbo” or “Rib a-ba” are nicknames that locals use to describe Lake Maracaibo. Because of only hitting a single location, the lightning at Lake Maracaibo has also been considered a natural lighthouse for the past 1500 years.

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The strangest thing is that this phenomenon only occurs in one location. Photo: Scienceabc

The natives consider the Catatumbo lightning bolts to be their pride, a sacred talisman. Besides, they also take advantage of this natural light to determine the direction when sailing in the dark. Moreover, the dense density of lightning also contributes to the regeneration of the earth’s ozone layer, protecting the environment. Lightning discharge is also a source of nitrogen fertilizer for good crops.

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The phenomenon of thunder takes place at the mouth of the Catatumbo River – which is known as the “Lighthouse of Maracaibo” with a cycle from April to the peak season in December. Photo: Internet

The time when Lake Maracaibo is “punished” the most of the year is in October. That’s when a series of storms bring heavy rain and thunder. There are times when this place suffers up to 28 lightning strikes a minute – enough energy to light 100 million light bulbs.

For generations, the people of the village were overwhelmed by nature’s “rage” with raging lightning storms. Therefore, experts have been trying to find the answer to this special phenomenon for centuries. For decades, scientists believed that uranium deposits in the lake area were responsible for attracting lightning, making the place subject to such a dense density of lightning strikes.

However, for now, many people are leaning towards the theory that a combination of topography and wind of Lake Maracaibo is the main cause. As explained by Dr. Daniel Cecil, of the Center for Global Weather and Hydrology (USA), topography plays an important role in promoting hot or cold winds, thereby forming storms.

Grameme Anderson, a meteorologist at the Met Office, also suggested that the maximum temperature and humidity and winds around the Andes create the world’s most intense lightning for this area.

During the day, in the northwestern region of Venezuela, Lake Maracaibo flows through the city of the same name into the Caribbean Sea. Steam from the lake surface is warmed by the sun rising up. At night, trade winds from the sea push this warm air mass into the cold air blowing out of the mountains, creating “storm clouds” that emit electrical sparks called lightning.

One surprising element of these consistent flashes is that they have no accompanying thunder. Some people believe that Catatumbo lightning does not cause thunder and this is indeed a mystery. The reason behind the absence of sound is due to the fact that lightning storms occurred 50-100km away from witnesses. Science says it’s nearly impossible to hear thunder if you’re 25km or more away from lightning. So this is used to explain the above mystery.

Unique natural wonder

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Lightning is like a harmony of light. Photo: Pinterest

This natural phenomenon also involves an interesting story in history. One evening in 1595, warships, commanded by English sailor Francis Drake, were on their way to attack the city of Maracaibo (owned by Spain at that time). When passing through this area, the streaks of light in the sky revealed them, the attack was therefore aborted. This story was also recorded in the epic poem 16 La Dragontea.

Besides, the Catatumbo lightning is also associated with the independence of Venezuela. In 1823, these thunders and lightnings helped the Venezuelan army detect Spanish warships and win over the enemy. Therefore, the image of lightning appears on both the flag and the national anthem of the state of Zulia.

In 2014, the Guinness Organization awarded the certificate to recognize the Catatumbo lightning as a unique meteorological phenomenon. Due to the unique potentials inherent, the Venezuelan government is trying to get Catatumbo lightning listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This would make this type of lightning the first natural phenomenon to be included in the list.

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Coming to the lake area, you have the opportunity to witness the extremely unique and spectacular thunder and lightning performances that are nowhere to be found, even clearly visible at a distance of more than 40km. In addition, the tropical forest surrounding Lake Maracaibo is also home to leopards, crocodiles, South American pythons, butterflies and countless other species of flora and fauna. It will not be wasted if you take the time to explore the wild natural world here.

Night falls pretty quickly which means the show will start soon. The sky was getting brighter and brighter, and the horizon seemed to be shooting out incessantly sparks of electricity.

Even more special is that these lightning sometimes have white, red, even purple colors. It is unbelievable that the people of the fishing village take advantage of these “natural lighthouses” to catch fish in the evening. They are really brave.

According to Scienceabc

https://cafef.vn/song-cung-thien-loi-ngoi-lang-ky-la-lien-tuc-bi-troi-danh-hung-chiu-10-tieng-set-moi-ngay-du- customer

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