Potentially deadly

A fascinating but powerfully deadly force of nature, lightning is as beautiful as it is destructive.

Lightning strikes the Statue of Liberty in New York on Sept. 22. Photographer Jay Fine spent two hours in Battery Park City, Manhattan, trying to get the perfect picture. He shot 80 photos before capturing this image just before 9 p.m. local time. Jay Fine / Caters News
Lightning strikes the CN Tower in Toronto, Canada, on Aug. 9, 2009. Jim Bradford / The Canadian Press via AP
Neil Fraser watches as lightning hits beyond a church in Rosser, Manitoba, early Sunday morning July 30, 1995. Marc Gallant / AP
Lightning sparks across the night sky as a heavy thunderstorm makes its way across Ocean Isle Beach, N.C., on May 20, 2008. Kyle Green / AP
Lighting strikes over buildings in Nanjing, in China's eastern Jiangsu province, on Aug. 1, 2006. AP
Lightning strikes behind a house in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, on Aug. 26, 2004. Laura Segall / The Gazette
Lightning streaks toward the Wind Point Lighthouse on Lake Michigan as severe storms hit Wind Point, Wis., on Aug. 18, 2005. Darren Hauck / Getty Images
Lightning bolts appear above and around Chile's Chaiten volcano as seen from Chana, to the north, as it began its first eruption in thousands of years on May 2, 2008. Carlos Gutierrez / Reuters
Lightning strikes over Guangzhou International Finance Center during a rainstorm in Guangzhou in south China's Guangdong province on June 3, 2009. AP
Lightning strikes as a much-needed rainstorm comes to Lake Powell near Page, Ariz., on March 24, 2007. David McNew / Getty Images
A bolt of lightning strikes near Terminal D as an American Airlines jet takes off from Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport on Sept. 11, 2006. Tom Fox / AP
Lightning lights up the Rotterdam skyline on May 26, 2009 as a heavy storm raged over the Netherlands. Marco de Swart / EPA
A lightning bolt strikes through a rainbow during a thunderstorm over Sheridan, Wyo., on June 15, 2005. Ryan Brennecke / AP
Lightning flashes in the night sky on Aug. 7, 2008 in London, England. Dan Kitwood / Getty Images
Lightning strikes west of the Space Needle in Seattle, Wash., on Aug. 4, 1999. Patrick Hagerty / AP
The ancient Greek Parthenon temple, atop the Acropolis hill overlooking Athens, is framed by a lightning bolt during a thunderstorm on Oct. 9, 2006. Aris Messinis / AFP - Getty Images