Rare Gigantic Jets of Lightning Caught on Camera

A Puerto Rico-based photographer has captured rare images of gigantic jets of lightning blasting out of the ongoing Hurricane Franklin.

(Image credit: Frankie Lucena)

Frankie Lucena was taking pictures of the storm system on August 20 when he saw the enormous bolts of lightning shooting straight up into the sky. The lightning was so bright that it lit up the night sky.

Gigantic jets are the rarest and most powerful type of lightning. They occur as few as 1,000 times a year and pack more than 50 times the power of a typical lightning bolt. The upside-down bolts can climb more than 50 miles (80 kilometers) above Earth's surface, touching the bottom of the ionosphere.

Lucena said he was stunned by what he saw. "I had never seen anything like it before," he said. "It was like something out of a science fiction movie."

The photographer's images have captured the attention of scientists, who are still trying to understand how gigantic jets form. One theory is that they are caused by a blockage that prevents lightning from escaping through the bottom of the cloud.

Whatever the cause, gigantic jets are a reminder of the power of nature. They are also a reminder of the importance of studying these rare phenomena so that we can better understand them and protect ourselves from them.

In addition to the gigantic jets, Hurricane Franklin has also been producing other forms of extreme weather, including heavy rain and strong winds. The storm has caused flooding and power outages in Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic.

Franklin is expected to continue to move north and weaken in the coming days. However, it is still a powerful storm and could cause further damage as it moves through the Atlantic Ocean.

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