There is something awe inspiring about walking outside and looking up during a thunderstorm. The boom of the thunder, the crack of lightning, and the roiling black clouds all work together to create a sense of largeness that simply engulfs you. Watching lightning from a distance can be a gorgeous experience and when someone captures it via photography you can re-live it over and over. 100 bolts of lightning hit the Earth every single second and shown below are 16 of those such bolts, captured in HD detail.
Here we see all of the might that man could muster standing in the way of a lightning bolt from the heavens. This alarming, but beautiful, shot is relatively common place. As we mentioned above there are over 100 lightning strikes per second that hit the surface of the Earth. Lightning seeks for the quickest path to the ground and climbing down a lighthouse like this is the perfect path.
Some of the coolest natural phenomena that you can ever witness, outside of riding the rapids on a Maine rafting trip, includes this webbing lightning. When lightning crackles and then spiderwebs across the sky it can be enough to take your breath away. We’re almost positive that this image has not been retouched at all so if you were to go outside during a storm, with tall buildings in the area, you might just catch a sight like this. Sorta makes your laid back fishing trip look pretty tame, doesn’t it?
From the Heavens.
This looks to be somewhat of a time lapse photograph. For this sort of shot you would set your camera on a timer and then let it capture images for a prolonged period of time. That makes lightning appear to be striking in dozens of places all at once. If you saw something like this in person, where this much lightning struck at a single instance, you had better start praying — that aint natural.
Did you know that airplanes are made to be able to withstand lightning strikes? Yep, it’s absolutely true! In this image we see lightning striking as a passenger airline prepares to take off. As long as the storm is under control from a wind and rain perspective the people in the plane have nothing to be concerned about. So if you had a phobia regarding lightning hitting planes preventing you from booking those discount hotels on vacation, rest at ease and get booking!
Night of Lightning.
Seeing lightning strike like this reminds us of watching LeBron James in Game 7 of last years NBA finals. For those of us that could afford playoff tickets to the game you got to see a man strike EVERYWHERE on the court. This lightning is eerie, beautiful, and fascinatingly powerful. Did you know that the temperature of lightning when it strikes Earth is nearly 54,000 degrees Fahrenheit? To put that temperature in perspective: a lightning bolt is five times hotter than the actual surface of our sun. That puts sport tickets prices in perspective, doesn’t it? We should be paying big money to watch storms.
Time to Start Running.
We’re not sure what is going on in this photograph outside of the fact that it absolutely terrifies us while simultaneously putting us in awe. This image brings to mind Mordor if it were even more scary looking. In fact, if we saw this coming our way we would grab one of the fastest rental cars available and high tail it to safety. No thanks, we’ll stick to seeing this kinda thing via picture.
Lightning Raining on the Ocean.
Water conducts electricity, right? Here we see a giant storm project lightning down upon islands in the ocean in a breathtaking way. We can only imagine what it would be like to see this sort of show up close. Seeing all of these bolts come down reminds us of a little fact: lightning can actually cause a tree to explode on contact. The lightning destroys the stored sap inside of the tree and causes a steam reaction that makes the trunk burst into pieces.
City of Light.
If you live in the Midwest and are considering going to skydiving school then get used to hating a sight like this. When storms come in hot, as they do all Summer through the Midwest, they tend to create spectacular lightning shows that wow your vision while canceling your classes. Oh well, maybe you could cash in those tennis tickets at the local health club — that’s kind of exciting, right?
This is our favorite kind of lightning to watch play out. You can see it crackle and sizzle across the sky, never touching the ground. This kind of lightning, which starts in the cumulonimbus cloud, will never actually leave its place of origin and instead put on this crackling display of power.
If you ever played Legend of Zelda for the N64 you might get where we are going with this title. This sort of view, combining monstrously dark clouds and lightning, looks like something pulled straight out of Hyrule. In fact, this is so fantastic that we aren’t positive it can be real. Look at how the lightning creates a halo around the funnel-like cloud.
We’re flashing our nerd car here proudly. Remember when Mace Windu cornered Emperor Palpatine in the otherwise terrible Star Wars prequels? Yeah, you know what we’re talking about. These lighting bolts look startlingly familiar to the evil character’s powers.
Lightning on the Hill.
If you are willing to travel Southwest to somewhere like New Mexico or Texas you too can see beautiful shots like this. You can get a car rental cheap and a place out in the middle of nowhere while you wait for the storms to roll in. There’s something particularly humbling about watching dark clouds lightning take over the desert.
In the City.
On the opposite end of the spectrum as our aforementioned image, here we instead see some magnificent bolts of lightning striking in the middle of the city. While you rarely see tornadoes around large urban centers like this, lightning is all too common. The more tall buildings, the better. Did you know that all of these lightning bolts are following a ground to cloud connection that is no wider than your thumb? Crazy! You wouldn’t want to be on top of those buildings as the lightning comes down either, lightning bolts kill 2,000 people per year.
Lightning on the Lake.
We’ve seen lightning like this up close. The shocking white color and thickness of the bolt tells us that this storm happened at night and these bolts lit up the entire area when they struck. To see night turn to day from the power of lightning is incredible. Did you know that lightning bolts travel from their thunderhead to the ground at over 62 million MPH? Don’t worry, only 1 in 12,000 people end up getting caught in the pathway. However, scientists are predicting that number to shift to 1 in 8,000 due to global warming by the year 2100.
Did you know that if you are hit by lightning you might end up with a pretty cool looking rash? Now, we likely haven’t ever heard anyone use the phrase ‘cool looking rash’ before, but it absolutely applies here. Also, when lightning strikes either rock or sand it can create a tattoo effect on the ground by fusing minerals together. Scientists and researchers have been digging up these fossilized lightning strikes all over the world for as long as we’ve been looking underneath the surface of the Earth. Pretty cool, right?
A Sunset of Energy.
We’re at the end of our lightning discussion so we’ll leave you with possibly the prettiest photo ever seen. If you get tired of your surroundings then make sure to go out and travel sometime. You never know when you’ll stumble across a view that so perfectly encapsulates the beauty, power, and diversity of nature such as this one. Despite how dangerous lightning can be, and it is the second most common phobia in the United States, you are relatively safe observing it as long as you properly follow all of the safety precautions.