Check out this 750-kilometer-long lightning bolt
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Check out this 750-kilometer-long lightning bolt

A world record-length lightning bolt has been confirmed by scientists, topping the previous record by 59 kilometres.

The lightning flash was recorded in 2020, but scientists have only recently verified that it was longer than the previous record-holder, which lit up the Brazilian sky in 2018.

The bolt covered 768 kilometres (477.2 miles) and spread across three US states at once, including Texas so we’re happy to round that up to four.

Longest Lightning
Satellite imagery of the lightning strike | Credit: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

The average flash of lightning only covers 16 kilometres, which is just two per cent of the mega flash over America.

2020 must have been the year for giant storms, because in Uruguay and Argentina, another record was broken for the longest duration of a single flash, lasting 17.1 seconds. Take a second to play that out in your mind… 17 seconds is insane, especially when the average strike lasts for just one second.

“These are extraordinary records from lightning flash events,” said Professor Randall Cerveny from the World Meteorological Organization (WMO).

Breathe easy, because experts are confident that the mega lashes weren’t caused by climate change. Both lightning strikes were in areas that experience extreme storms on a regular basis and are prone to large bolts of lightning.

But even if you’re a climate change denier, we wouldn’t recommend wearing your tin-foil hat out in the storm.