The "Relámpago del Catatumbo" or "Faros del Catatumbo" (Catatumbo lightning) is a phenomenon that occurs over the marshlands at the Lake Maracaibo mouth of the river, where lightningstorms occur for about 10 hours a night, 140 to 160 nights a year, for a total of about 1.2 million lightning discharges per year. The light from this storm activity can be seen up to 40 km away and has been used for ship navigation; it is also known as the "Maracaibo Beacon" for this reason.
^"Fire in the Sky". Retrieved 2007-12-14. The flashes are visible up to 40 kilometres away and have been used as a natural lighthouse for centuries; which is why this semi-permanent storm is also known as the "Faro de Maracaibo", or "Maracaibo Beacon".