This stunning image is of a unique phenomenon called Catatumbo Lightning - a powerful and nearly continuous thunderstorm with up to 20,000 flashes of lightning per night. Catatumbo lightning refers to continuous, high-frequency lightning from a near-daily thunderstorm complex that forms in the Lago de Maracaibo, Catatumbo River region in northern Venezuela, South America. The nightly lightning occurs often without any sound of thunder and is so consistent that it has long served as a maritime navigational aid. The storms and lightning are likely the result of winds that blow across the lake and meet the high Andes mountains, the Perijá Mountains, and Mérida's Cordillera. The heat and moisture gets "trapped" within the plain creating electrical charges and creating a near-continous lightning activity. The lightning starts almost every night one hour after dusk and is one of the biggest tourist attractions in the area.
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