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8 natural mysteries that can't be explained

By: Melissa Breyer on Sept. 28, 2015, 1:01 p.m.
Catatumbo lightning

Photo: Thechemicalengineer/Wikimedia Commons

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Catatumbo lightning

While ball lightning is known for its infrequency, Catatumbo lightning is famous for just the opposite: its astounding prevalence. Occurring over a swamp in northwestern Venezuela almost every evening for centuries, this "everlasting storm" averages 28 strikes per minute in events lasting up to 10 hours. When things really get going, lightning strikes every second. Oh, and the lightning is colorful. And does not produce thunder. And sometimes just stops for a few weeks at a time. What the heck? To be certain it has inspired plenty of speculation. The only answer so far is that it's produced by a perfect storm, so to speak, of topography and wind. Hmmm. Read more about it here: "Everlasting storm" has 1 million lightning strikes a year.