Handyman Chicago News Gallery

Wed, Apr-16-2014 04:13:08

Everlasting Storm


Venezuela: Here, nature's grandest sound and light show is referred to as Relámpago del Catatumbo (the ‘everlasting storm') because it is staged about 160 nights a year for as long as 10 hours at a time. And unlike other measly lightning storms that generate maybe one or two flashes, this one sizzles with as many as 280 an hour, or a whopping 1.2 million lightning strikes a year - the highest in the world. Not only that, each one of them discharges with an intensity of between 100,000 to 400,000 amps or enough to power every light bulb in South America. Not surprisingly, they are visible for almost 250 miles, which is why fisherman and sailors often use the Beacon of Maracaibo to guide them across the waters, during dark nights. What's even more amazing is that the lightning has been occurring above the same spot in the marshland where the Catatumbo River meets Lake Maracaibo, one of only 17 ancient lakes in the world, for thousands of years.