Venezuela wins Guinness record for lightning

Wednesday 29 January 2014 19.11
The natural phenomenon in the western state of Zulia is called the Catatumbo Lightning
The natural phenomenon in the western state of Zulia is called the Catatumbo Lightning

An area of Venezuela with 20,000 flashes of lightning per hour has won the Guinness record for the place with the most lightning.

The certification was handed over yesterday 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 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 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 the Guinness people.

The phenomenon was proposed to Guinness last year by a Venezuelan environmentalist named Erick Quiroga, who has been monitoring the lightning for 17 years.