Lightning lake in Venezuela

Nov - 28 - 2011

In Venezuela there is a place where almost every night you can see the flash of lightning. This is where the river empties into the Catatumbo Lake Maracaibo. And they can sparkle in 7-10 hours. A lot or a little, but light-residents are almost used to it.

The phenomenon is so significant that it was even depicted on the flag and emblem of the State of Zulia. A local Indians Wayuu believe that the lightning – the souls of the dead.In January 2010, the lightning that flashed over the centuries, for some reason, presumably because of the drought are gone, but resumed in April.

Residents of the area where the river empties into the Catatumbo Lake Maracaibo can every night contemplate an infinite number of lightning, unfortunately all this electricity is wasted, and yet every year lightnings release discharge, which is the sum of 1 million volts.

Catatumbo lightning is unique in its physical nature, are one of the world’s largest producer of ozone. In contrast to the usual bad weather, the local lightning accompanied by thunder, and the discharges are themselves among the clouds and rarely reach the ground.

Catatumbo lightning – a unique natural phenomenon, which for centuries was a kind of beacon for ships passing in the nearby waters (the so incidentally, was named – Maracaibo Beacon). After discharge, which can reach over 400 000 power amps each, can be seen at a distance of 400 km.

The nature of this region is remarkably constant, so that lightning can be seen not only for 150 days a year, until the storm is raging, but the rest of the time, 7-10 hours a day.

According to researcher Andrew Zavrostki from the University of Los Angeles, the reason for this phenomenon may be a high content of uranium in the local marshes. However, other scientists believe that the phenomenon is caused by a large number of ionized methane, which is formed from the decomposition of organic matter in the marshes and waters of the river washed out from Catatumbo flowing into Lake Maracaibo. Educated at the lake clouds rising into the upper atmosphere and there are faced with a strong air flow from the Andes, and that may be causing many soundless lightning.

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