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 kilometres (25 mi) 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".