We hope you enjoyed yesterday’s Plot Bunnies featuring Cat Vision. This is the beginning of a new project that Dave Mornix and I have planned. Each day will post something funny, weird or strange … but with some fact behind it. You can then run with it and use it for your own inspirational purposes or just read it and do nothing the choice is yours.
We love the rain, thunder and lightening absolutely bring it on! We can endure power outages for short periods, out comes the candles and board games. An atmospheric phenomenon in Venezuela which occurs only over the mouth of the Catatumbo River where it empties into Lake Maracaibo. The frequent, powerful flashes of lightning over this relatively small area are considered to be the world’s largest single generator of tropospheric ozone.
According to UK’s News, dated June 5, 2013:
This is ‘Relámpago del Catatumbo’ in a corner of north western Venezuela – otherwise known as ‘the everlasting storm’. The unique atmospheric phenomenon generates an estimated 1.2 m lightning strikes a year and is visible from almost 250 miles away.
Storm clouds gather in the same spot five-miles above Lake Maracaibo up to 160 nights per year, lasting for about 10 hours at a time.
There are several theories to explain the continuous storms including high winds which sweep across the lake forming clouds when they meet the Andean mountains. Others link it to the boggy marshes releasing methane gas.
Either way it has become a proud symbol for the people of Venezuela and is referenced in the epic poem ‘La Dragontea’ by Lope de Vega. It is also credited with scuppering a raid by Francis Drake on the city of Maracaibo in 1595 when lightning betrayed his ships to the Spanish garrison.
The state of Zulia, which encompasses Lake Maracaibo, has a lightning bolt across its centre and refers to the phenomenon in its anthem.
The storm also acts as a natural lighthouse for local fisherman who are able to navigate at night without any problem.
On occasions the phenomenon has stopped for weeks at a time, most recently in 2010. Locals worried it was the result of an extreme drought, which had led to electricity shortages in a country which relies heavily on hydropower.
But after five weeks of silence the cacophony resumed.
The other occasion was in 1906 after a huge earthquake off the coast of Columbia and Ecuador caused a tsunami.
Some scientists consider the everlasting storm to be the single biggest generator of tropospheric ozone on the planet.
In these photos the lightning bolts illuminate the sky in a combination of brilliant whites, reds and purples.
The difference in the colours of lightning storms is caused partly by the different kinds of atoms in the air.
In dry air it looks white because there are few strong visible rays of light. But if water vapour is present, hydrogen atoms create a strong red line. At night this can appear purple.
Some other interesting lightening facts:
- Tropospheric ozone it extends from the surface of the Earth to between 12 and 20 kilometers above the surface of the Earth and consists of many layers.
- Canada averages over 2 million lightning strikes are each year.
- In Canada 9 to 10 people are killed and between 100 and 150 people are injured each year by lightning.
- In the United States an average of 57 deaths per year
Food for thought:
Story ideas …
What if there was a storm that was alive, the lightening is alive.
What if we could control the weather by magic or science.
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“It is only in sorrow bad weather masters us; in joy we face the storm and defy it.”
~ Amelia Barr ~
Hope you enjoyed this!
R. J. Davies Mornix and Dave Mornix