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Pilot Captures Stunning Storm From 37,000 Feet Above Pacific

A storm rises into the atmosphere as it gathers over the Pacific Ocean by Panama City. Santiago Borja

Pilot Santiago Borja captured a stunning image last month of lightning flashes exposing a massive storm high above the Pacific Ocean.

At an altitude of 37,000 feet, Borja caught an isolated cloud in the middle of a threatening thunderstorm while flying from New York to Guayaquil, Ecuador.

“It is not very common to have the luck of flying by an isolated storm this big,” said Borja to NBC News. “Usually they are all embedded into clouds making it impossible to be seen, you have to use the radar.”

Borja first posted the photo on his National Geographic’s Your Shot feature. He didn’t think the photo was very special, until the image went viral.

"Tormenta" taken a couple of years ago was Borja's first successful attempt at capturing a storm above Caracas, Venezuela while on a flight home to Ecuador from Europe. Santiago Borja

“I didn't think that the public would care so much about it,” said Borja. “It's been great to see so many people interested on this phenomenon.”

His passion for photography grew as he began to fly more frequently. From his unique perspective, Borja takes advantage of gorgeous landscapes around the world.

“At first it was only a hobby, I started with a film camera from my father with two lenses,” said Borja. “I realized I liked photography so much, I bought my first digital DSLR and began making better photos.”

See more of Borjas’ photos on Instagram and his website.

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