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World's weirdest weather

By: Laura Moss on Sept. 1, 2010, 12:05 p.m.
Ball lightning in the sky of the Netherlands.

Photo: Joe Thomissen/Wikimedia Commons

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Ball lightning

Stories of ball lightning — balls of light that occasionally float through the air during thunderstorms — date back centuries. These glowing spheres range in size from golf balls to soccer balls and emit no heat and little sound.

Scientific data on ball lightning is scarce because of the phenomenon’s infrequency and unpredictability, but laboratory experiments have produced effects that are visually similar to the floating orbs of electricity sometimes seen in nature.