Receiving lightning strikes 28 times per minute, 10 hours per day and 280 days per year, Catatumbo, Venezuela is far and away the most electric place on earth.
Residents near the spot where the Catatumbo River flows into Lake Maracaibo have grown used to the phenomenon which has continued unchanged for centuries and is known locally as El Relampago de Catatumbo. No one is completely certain why it occurs, but current consensus seems to be that it has something to do with the meeting of the hot, humid coastal winds of Maracaibo meeting the arctic air from the surrounding Andes.
In addition to the one-of-a-kind lightning storms, Lake Maracaibo – an enormous brackish inlet which used to be South America’s largest true lake – is also home to so fantastic birds, wildlife and scenery…as these photos attest.
Unfortunately the Relampago takes place in a notably unstable region of an altogether unstable country so for now most of us will probably have to experience it as armchair travellers. On that note, here’s a pretty neat video we found…
This blog only scratches the surface of what is a fascinating topic. For more in depth coverage of the subject check out this great article on Slate.