The Mount Rushmore State is no stranger to lightning storms. According to a new report from X Weather, the state of South Dakota recorded 5,109,753 lightning strikes in 2023 alone, making it the 15th state in the country, in terms of lightning strikes.

But upward lightning? That's something else entirely. In fact, it's an incredibly rare form of lightning few people that few people are ever able to witness.

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Credit: Canva
Credit: Canva

In a video that's amassed over 700,000 views on YouTube, a stunning view of upward lighting in Rapid City, South Dakota is proof of the might mother nature can inflict.

In the video notes, AGU (the publisher) explains what transpires in the captivating footage.

In this video, a sudden flash of lightning drops from the clouds on the left and strikes the ground just before more streaks of lightning appear, leaping upward from the top of a television tower toward the clouds. The team shot this slow-motion footage, which expands a second or so of real-time into 40 seconds of viewing, at 1,000 images per second. The scientists have, for the first time, estimated the frequency of these presumed electrical preludes, made visible by the swiftness of high-speed video.

-AGU via YouTube

To see the striking video for yourself, check out the YouTube clip below.

What exactly is "upward lightning" you might ask? According to the Geospace Website, upward lightning originates from a tall object and travels upwards towards an electrified storm cloud.

To read more about this incredibly rare phenomenon, check out the article from the Geospace Website.

Mount Rushmore's Secret Chamber

Many of us have had the pleasure of visiting South Dakota's most famous monument, Mount Rushmore in the Black Hills.

But, did you know there's a secret chamber in Mount Rushmore?

Gallery Credit: Andy Gott

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