15/05/2012 08:37 BST | Updated 23/07/2012 17:56 BST

Lightning Strikes And Rainbows: Colourful Skies Above China (PICTURES)

These stormy skies above Haikou, China, are pictured being punctuated by flashes of spidery lightning and bizarrely, a rainbow.

The phenomena were captured clashing dramatically amidst the ominous purple clouds during a rainstorm earlier this week.

Lightning generally occurs during storms, while rainbows tend to form after the rain has stopped, making this simultaneous appearance of both relatively rare.

Scroll down for more pictures of rainbows and lightning jostling for space


An estimated 24,000 people are killed by lightning strikes around the world every year, and around 240,000 are injured.

Earlier this year student Matt Wilkes survived being struck by lightning twice – a feat he put down to the £3 umbrella hat he was wearing at the time.