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World’s Longest Lightning Bolt Stretched 800 Kilometres

We may have had a wet and stormy summer in Australia, but we haven't seen anything like this before.

The longest bolt of lightning ever recorded flashed across three U.S. States, stretching nearly 800 kilometres.

The single flash extended 767.9km across Texas, Louisiana and Mississippi in April 2020, the World Meteorological Organisation said on Monday.

The length of the lightning flash was spotted and confirmed on Monday thanks to new satellite tracking technology.

That beat the old record set in 2018 in Brazil of 709km.

Also, in 2020, a single lightning flash over Uruguay and northern Argentina lasted 17.1 seconds, nipping the old-time record of 16.7 seconds.

Lightning does not usually stretch farther than 15 kilometres and last for less than a second, said Arizona State University's Randall Cerveny, who is the chief of records confirmation for the meteorological organisation.

"These two lightning flash records are absolutely extraordinary," Cerveny said in an email.

Both were cloud-to-cloud, several thousand feet above ground level, so no one was in danger, he said.

Both regions are two of the few places in the world prone to the type of intense storms that can produce what is called "megaflashes," Cerveny said.

AAP with The Project