Relámpago del Catatumbo Is an Everlasting Lightning Storm in Venezuela That Occurs Around Lake Maracaibo

This Lightning Storm Happens Between 140 and 160 Times a Year and Lasts for 10 Hours Each Time

This Lightning Storm Happens Between 140 and 160 Times a Year and Lasts for 10 Hours Each Time

Atlas Obscura
Your Guide to the World's Hidden Wonders
Nov. 3 2015 12:30 PM

Venezuela’s Everlasting Lightning Storm

Relámpago del Catatumbo, Venezuela.
Relámpago del Catatumbo, Venezuela, July 1, 2010.

Photo courtesy Olga Berrios/Flickr

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The sky above this river never sleeps. Producing 3,600 flashes per hour, for 10 hours at a time, for most nights out of the year, the "Relámpago del Catatumbo" has been raging, on and off, for as long as people can remember.

It was recently inducted into the Guinness Book of World Records as the place in the world with the most lightning strikes per square meter, taking the record from the town of Kikika in the Democratic Republic of Congo. All of which points to the fact that while unusual, the "Relámpago del Catatumbo" is certainly not the only storm nursery in the world, just the flashiest.  

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