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Rare Video Captures Super-Charged Volcanic Ash Cloud Sparked By Lightning

29/09/2015 11:33 | Updated 29 September 2015

Volcanic lightning is one of those incredibly rare phenomena that when viewed for the first time can quite literally put the fear of the Greek gods in you.

Believe us then when we say this video posted by BBC Earth is one of those moments:

Super-charged volcanic ash cloud sparked with lightning in Pat...

Be amazed by a super-charged volcanic ash cloud sparked by lightning.#PATAGONIA

Posted by BBC Earth on Monday, 28 September 2015

Volcanic lightning only occurs during a particularly violent eruption when huge quantities of positively charged ash debris is thrown into the air.

Seen for only the briefest of moments, the lightning will then fork down through the ash into the volcano itself. The resulting effect goes a long way to explaining why Zeus was a) angry ALL of the time and b) had a certain fondness for lobbing bolts of lightning everywhere.

Still not convinced, then how about these images taken from the very same eruption in Calbuco, Chile:

  • ASSOCIATED PRESS
    The Calbuco volcano erupts near Puerto Varas, Chile, Thursday, April 23, 2015.
  • MARTIN BERNETTI via Getty Images
    View from Frutillar, southern Chile, showing volcanic lightnings and lava spewed from the Calbuco volcano on April 23, 2015.
  • DAVID CORTES SEREY via Getty Images
    This view from Puerto Varas, southern Chile, shows a high column of ash and lava spewing from the Calbuco volcano, on April 23, 2015.
  • MARTIN BERNETTI via Getty Images
    View from Frutillar, southern Chile, showing volcanic lightnings and lava spewed from the Calbuco volcano on April 23, 2015.
  • MARTIN BERNETTI via Getty Images
    View from Frutillar, southern Chile, showing volcanic lightnings and lava spewed from the Calbuco volcano on April 23, 2015.
  • MARTIN BERNETTI via Getty Images
    View from Frutillar, southern Chile, showing volcanic lightnings and lava spewed from the Calbuco volcano on April 23, 2015.
  • MARTIN BERNETTI via Getty Images
    View from Frutillar, southern Chile, showing volcanic lightnings and lava spewed from the Calbuco volcano on April 23, 2015
  • MARTIN BERNETTI via Getty Images
    View from Frutillar, southern Chile, showing volcanic lightnings and lava spewed from the Calbuco volcano on April 23, 2015.
  • Reuters
    Smoke and lava spew from the Calbuco volcano, as seen from the shores of Lake Llanquihue in Puerto Varas, April 23, 2015.
  • REUTERS/Carlos Gutierrez
    Smoke and lava spew from the Calbuco volcano, as seen from the shores of Lake Llanquihue in Puerto Varas, April 23, 2015.
  • AFP/Getty Images
    View from Puerto Varas, southern Chile, of a high column of ash and lava spewing from the Calbuco volcano, on April 22, 2015.
  • ASSOCIATED PRESS
    The Calbuco volcano erupts near Puerto Varas, Chile, Wednesday, April 22, 2015.
  • ASSOCIATED PRESS
    The Calbuco volcano erupts near Puerto Varas, Chile, Wednesday, April 22, 2015.
  • ASSOCIATED PRESS
    Children watch the Calbuco volcano erupt, from Puerto Varas, Chile, Wednesday, April 22, 2015.
  • ASSOCIATED PRESS
    The Calbuco volcano is seen erupting from Puerto Varas, Chile, Wednesday, April 22, 2015.
  • ASSOCIATED PRESS
    Children watch the Calbuco volcano erupt, from Puerto Varas, Chile, Wednesday, April 22, 2015.
  • FRANCISCO RAMOS MEJIA via Getty Images
    View of the road to San Carlos de Bariloche, province of Rio Negro, 1570 km southwest of Buenos Aires, with a menacing ashes cloud from the Calbuco volcano in neighbouring Chile, on April 22, 2015.
  • FRANCISCO RAMOS MEJIA via Getty Images
    View from the Nahuel Huapi lake, province of Rio Negro, 1570 km southwest of Buenos Aires, of a menacing cloud from the Calbuco volcano in neighbouring Chile, on April 22, 2015.
  • Ivan Konar/CON via Getty Images
    LLANQUIHUE, CHILE - APRIL 22: The Calbuco volcano erupts on April 22, 2015 near Puerto Varas in the Llanquihue Region, Chile. The volcano, considered as one of the most potentially dangerous in Chile, erupted for the first time in more than 42 years. It generated a huge cloud of ashes which is affecting the South of Chile and Argentina. (Photo by Ivan Konar/LatinContent/Getty Images)
  • Ivan Konar/CON via Getty Images
    LLANQUIHUE, CHILE - APRIL 22: The Calbuco volcano erupts on April 22, 2015 near Puerto Varas in the Llanquihue Region, Chile. The volcano, considered as one of the most potentially dangerous in Chile, erupted for the first time in more than 42 years. It generated a huge cloud of ashes which is affecting the South of Chile and Argentina. (Photo by Ivan Konar/LatinContent/Getty Images)
  • Ivan Konar/CON via Getty Images
    LLANQUIHUE, CHILE - APRIL 22: The Calbuco volcano erupts on April 22, 2015 near Puerto Varas in the Llanquihue Region, Chile. The volcano, considered as one of the most potentially dangerous in Chile, erupted for the first time in more than 42 years. It generated a huge cloud of ashes which is affecting the South of Chile and Argentina. (Photo by Ivan Konar/LatinContent/Getty Images)
  • Ivan Konar/CON via Getty Images
    LLANQUIHUE, CHILE - APRIL 22: The Calbuco volcano erupts on April 22, 2015 near Puerto Varas in the Llanquihue Region, Chile. The volcano, considered as one of the most potentially dangerous in Chile, erupted for the first time in more than 42 years. It generated a huge cloud of ashes which is affecting the South of Chile and Argentina. (Photo by Ivan Konar/LatinContent/Getty Images)
  • Ivan Konar/CON via Getty Images
    LLANQUIHUE, CHILE - APRIL 22: The Calbuco volcano erupts on April 22, 2015 near Puerto Varas in the Llanquihue Region, Chile. The volcano, considered as one of the most potentially dangerous in Chile, erupted for the first time in more than 42 years. It generated a huge cloud of ashes which is affecting the South of Chile and Argentina. (Photo by Ivan Konar/LatinContent/Getty Images)
  • MARTIN BERNETTI via Getty Images
    A man distributes masks to prevent the harmful effects of the Calbuco volcano ashes, in Puerto Varas, on April 23, 2015.
  • MARTIN BERNETTI via Getty Images
    A man distributes masks to prevent the harmful effects of the Calbuco volcano ashes, in Puerto Varas, on April 23, 2015.
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