The Relampago del Catatumbo
Is It A Natural Phenomenon Or A Space Portal?
For thousands of years, Venezuelans have been treated to a spectacular light show, known as the Relampago del Catatumbo (Catatumbo lightning). This atmospheric phenomenon occurs around, and over, the bog area formed where the Catatumbo River flows into Lake Maracaibo.
The lightning appears to originate from a mass of storm clouds that create a voltaic arc (an electrical breakdown of gas, producing an ongoing plasma discharge) more than five kilometers in height, one hundred and forty, to one hundred sixty nights a year, for ten hours per day, and up to two hundred and eighty times per hour.
Visible from up to four hundred kilometers away, sailors know it as the “Maracaibo Beacon”. The lightning tends to start approximately one hour after dusk, and no one really knows what causes it. Between 1966 and 1970, Andrew Zavrostky, with assistance from the University of Los Andes, studied the area three times, and he suggests the phenomenon occurs due to cold and warm air currents meeting in the area. His study also speculated that an isolated cause for the lightning, might be the presence of uranium in the bedrock.
However, between 1997 and 2000, Nelson Falcón also conducted several studies, and produced the first microphysics model of the Catatumbo lightning. He identified the methane produced by the swamps, and oil deposits in the area, as major causes of the phenomenon. Some scientists have even speculated it’s possibly some form of space portal. Oddly, after continuing for thousands of years, and without any warning, the lightning suddenly ceased from January to April, 2010, giving rise to fears that it may have been gone forever. But then, just as suddenly as it had ceased, it began once again, and continues to this day. Whatever the cause, Relampago del Catatumbo is incredible to see!