Monday, December 16, 2013

Volcanic lightning - a rare natural phenomena when volcanoes and lightning are put together

Volcanic lightning in Chile
What happens when you take two striking natural phenomena – volcanoes and lightning – and put them together? One of nature’s most dangerously spectacular shows. Volcanic lightning – which strikes in the middle of or shortly after a volcanic eruption – occurs when debris from an eruption reacts with charges in the atmosphere. Though rare, volcanic lightning has been reported during the 2011 eruption of southern Chile’s Puyehue volcano (pictured), Alaska’s Mount Augustine in 2006, Iceland’s Eyjafjallajökull in 2010 and Japan’s Sakurajima in 2013. The event is notoriously difficult to anticipate, so seeing one is a truly once-in-a-lifetime experience. (Claudio Santana/AFP/Getty)

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