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440-mile-long lightning bolt over Brazil confirmed as the longest ever recorded

Lightning is incredible to behold at the best of times, but viewers in Brazil were in for a treat when a 400-mile-long bolt blasted through the skies in 2018.

The enormous bolt was spotted over southern Brazil on 31 October 2018, and has now been confirmed as the longest in history.

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According to the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO), the lightning bolt covered a horizontal distance of around 440.6 miles.

For comparison, that’s longer than the journey between Edinburgh and London, or about six time longer than Hadrian’s Wall!

Professor Randall Cerveny, chief rapporteur of Weather and Climate Extremes for WMO, said: “These are extraordinary records from single lightning flash events. Environmental extremes are living measurements of what nature is capable, as well as scientific progress in being able to make such assessments.

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“It is likely that even greater extremes still exist, and that we will be able to observe them as lightning detection technology improves.

“This will provide valuable information for establishing limits to the scale of lightning – including megaflashes – for engineering, safety and scientific concerns.”

Until now,

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