The eastern Democratic Republic of Congo and Lake Maracaibo in northwestern Venezuela have the most lightning strikes on Earth, as shown in a new map compiled by the NASA Earth Observatory.
The map shows the average yearly counts of lightning flashes per square kilometre from 1995 to 2013.
The areas with the fewest number of lightning strikes each year are coloured grey and purple, whilst the areas with the largest number are bright pink. In the bright pink areas as many as 150 lightning flashes take place per square kilometre each year.
Lightning strikes more often over land than the oceans, and more often closer to the equator, as the land heats up faster than water, which leads to greater atmospheric instability and the formation of storms which produce thunder and lightning.
Megan Toomey is a freelance journalist based in Melbourne.
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