Hiker captures moment huge lightning bolt strikes tree which explodes 'into a million pieces'

Rebecca Speare-Cole
·2 min read
This incredible image captures a gigantic lightning bolt as it strikes the side of a mountain in Pecos, New Mexico. (SWNS)
This incredible image captures a gigantic lightning bolt as it strikes the side of a mountain in Pecos, New Mexico. (SWNS)

A photographer has captured the incredible moment a gigantic lightning bolt strikes trees on the side of a mountain.

Phil Garcia took the photo on 8 June last year while he was hiking with friends in Pecos, New Mexico.

The lightning bolt appears almost purple as it hits the wooded area on the hillside.

Garcia, who works at a ski resort in Santa Fe, only managed to get one shot of the lightning.

The 28-year-old said: “We were hiking up in the back trails when we saw one pop off right before that one – so I pulled out my camera.

“The sound – it was wild. We were kind of worried, so we got out of there pretty quick.

“You could feel the energy. It blew the tree into what had to be a million pieces – all that was left was the trunk.

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“It was just smouldering.”

In January 2020, photographer Zohaib Anjum captured lightning hitting the Burj Khalifa tower, the world's tallest building.

Anjum had spent years trying to get the perfect shot, camping outside the tower all night with his camera when the rain comes to Dubai.

He was desperate to capture the "bolt from the blue" lightning photo and in January last year he finally did, catching on camera an amazing fork of lightning striking the top.

The impressive lightning bolt appears to be shooting out from the tip of the Burj Khalifa, which stands at 828 metres (2716 feet) high, and stretches across the sky, illuminating the Dubai skyline below.

Watch: Lightning strikes as ash spews from volcano