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What is the most lightning-struck lake in the world?Answer – Lake Maracaibo, Venezuela – They say lightning never strikes the same place twice, but if it were to happen anywhere on Earth, we’d place our bets on Venezuela’s Lake Maracaibo. One of South America’s largest lakes, it is home to one particular square kilometer that is struck by lightning more than any other place on the planet, according to satellite data from NASA’s Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission collected from 1998 to 2013. The satellite observed 233 bolts on average every year in this square kilometer. (The actual number is likely much higher, since the satellite only observed a small portion of each day.) That makes sense given the mountain terrain surrounding the lake — the cool air over the peaks clashes with the warm air coming off the lake to produce nearly 300 thunderstorms per year. The NASA researchers even said that early explorers on the Caribbean used the constant flickering of lightning in this area as a navigational aid. However, the spot is unusual in at least a few ways — lightning occurs most frequently over land between noon and 6 p.m. and most often in summer, but here it’s most common from midnight to 5 a.m. in late spring and autumn.:
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