Cloud-to-ground lightning. Cloud-to-ground lightning is the kind most people think of when they hear “lightning strike,” but it’s actually not the most common type of lightning.
Volcanic lightning. If you thought big explosions and fiery hot lava weren’t dramatic enough, why not add lightning into the mix? Lightning has been observed in the plumes of several different erupting volcanoes, including Iceland’s 2010
Ball lightning. One of the more mysterious forms of atmospheric fireworks, ball lightning looks like a drifting, glowing sphere of light. In 2012, researchers in China were able to record high-speed video of ball lightning and capture its
Dry lightning. Dry lightning, the result of very high altitude thunderstorms, is a major cause of forest fires. These high-altitude storms do create rain, but it evaporates before hitting land, setting the scene for a lightning-induced wi
Intracloud lightning. This is the most common type of lightning and often looks like a disco party taking place deep in the clouds. Intracloud lightning happens when positively and negatively charged regions accumulate within the same clo
Catatumbo lightning. Lake Maracaibo in western Venezuela is home to the Catatumbo lightning, the most consistent series of lightning storms in the world. Lightning has raged on the lake at least 260 nights of the year for more than 100 ye
Space lightning. NASA observatories are looking at lightning from a new vantage point—way above the clouds. This image of a lightning storm above Bolivia was taken from the International Space Station (ISS) in 2011. In 2013, NASA sent a s
Wild Horizons/UIG/Getty Images
Nov 13 2014
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