Caracas (AFP) – Catatumbo in western Venezuela has made it into the Guinness record books for being the place with the most lightning, some 20,000 flashes per hour.
The certification was handed over Tuesday by Guinness Book of World Records representative Johanna Hessling.
The natural phenomenon in the western state of Zulia is called the Catatumbo Lightning. It generates myriad electrical storms from April to November at the mouth of the River Catatumbo, at the southern end of Lake Maracaibo.
The numbers of lightning bolts are indeed staggering: an estimated 18 to 60 per minute, more than 20,000 per hour and 1.2 million a year, with each flash packing enough juice to light up 100 million light bulbs, according to the Agencia Venezolana de Noticias.
Venezuelan Vice President Jorge Arreaza received the certificate from Guinness.
The phenomenon was proposed to Guinness last year by Venezuelan environmentalist Erick Quiroga, who has been monitoring the lightning for 17 years.