Lightning Strikes Christ the Redeemer Statue

A Brazilian photographer, Fernando Braga, captured a rare photo of the Christ the Redeemer statue in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. | Image by Fernando Braga/@fsbragaphotos

A Brazilian hobbyist photographer has managed to take a photo of lightning striking the Christ the Redeemer Statue in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Fernando Braga ended up capturing a timelapse of the lightning hitting the statue as well as stills of the exact moment it happened on February 10. He had spent a while attempting to take a photo like this but did not expect the lightning to actually hit the statue.

Braga lives directly in view of the massive Jesus Christ statue on top of Mount Corcovado in the Tijuca Forest National Park.

“It was unbelievable at first. Like a dream come true, since I was trying for a long time. At that moment, I was expecting to get some lightning around the frame, but not like this one,” he told Yahoo News.

Braga caught the moment during a severe storm that struck the Brazilian coast. The storm caused flooding, destruction, and landslides, which left seven dead.

Braga especially enjoys photographing Christ the Redeemer. “I took a lot of photos of it. In sunsets, sunrise[s], with the moon, the sun, airplanes, helicopters, birds, etc. … So I decided to get one with lightning too,” he told Yahoo News.

His post on Instagram has received over 172,000 likes and over 3,200 comments.

Braga was surprised by the amount of attention the photos have garnered, telling Yahoo News that it was “not a difficult kind of photo” to take in terms of technical prowess.

Part of the reason Braga thinks this photo is not that difficult is due to the fact that it is not rare for the Christ the Redeemer statue to be at risk of getting hit by lightning.

He urged others not to put themselves in danger for a lightning shot.

“I was shooting at home. … Protection and safety should always be [a priority]. Once you get that, give it a try! It’s really not difficult to take some great shots,” he told Yahoo News.

Lightning hitting the 98-foot-tall statue is not unusual due to its elevation, standing at over 2,340 feet above sea level, and the fact that it was constructed from reinforced concrete, which uses steel as a metal frame to support the concrete. The thumb on the statue was damaged due to a lightning strike in 2008.

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