Relámpago del Catatumbo,Venezuela
The Relámpago del Catatumbo is the atmospheric phenomenon that happens in a small area of ??north-western Venezuela. It is a large and incessant formation of storm clouds which are capable of producing lightning flashes, never accompanied thunder, which gives it the appearance of being triggered by otherworldly forces. This frenetic activity is located at the spot where the Catatumbo River meets the Maracaibo Lake.
The "Catatumbo Lightning" has been happened in the same place for millennia, approximately one hour after sunset for at least 250 nights a year with an average of 280 electrical discharges per hour. It is an extraordinary light show, that is visible even from hundreds of miles away, and used for centuries as a reference point by Caribbean navigators who assigned it the title of "Catatumbo lighthouse" or "Faro del Maracaibo".
The cause of the phenomenon is attributed to the unique geographical make up of this place in the world, a sort of bottleneck where the warm winds from the sea are channeled. When these warm winds collide with the freezing clouds descending from the Andes, this collision along with the combination of the ionized methane gas that rises from Catatumbo make for the ideal conditions for these beautifully persistent and powerful succession of lightning strikes. This is an unrivaled show that has been repeated for thousands of years, although in 2010 it suddenly ceased for three months. This interruption is probably linked to the drought that affected Venezuela in that period. The best place to admire the spectacle of perpetual lightning is in the area of ??the Zulia River in the small village of Ologá, a settlement of just 46 stilt houses and 60 fishing families.
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