The iconic Christ the Redeemer statue in Brazil was struck by lightning over the weekend, stunning social media users as the event was captured on video.
Located in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil, the 125-foot Christ the Redeemer statue is visited by nearly two million people each year. Interestingly, it has been struck by lightning three times in the past 15 years.
Although extremely rare, on February 10th a bolt of lightning struck the head of the religious figure, illuminating it in a flash that has now been witnessed by millions worldwide.
Photographer Fernando Braga captured both photos and video footage of the lightning strike as it happened, with some others also managing to snap photos of the phenomenon.
The mesmerizing media of the lightning strike has now been circulated online and has been viewed over 20 million times, leaving many in awe.
Twitter user Massimo first posted images of lightning striking the world’s largest statue of Jesus, giving credit to Braga for the picture.
Braga, who describes himself as a hobbyist and has several pictures of the statue under normal conditions on his social media, captured several other photos and a video of the dramatic lightning strike.
As the media went viral online, some questioned whether the lightning strike was a manifestation of divine power, while others praised Braga for capturing the intense and fleeting moment.
In a surprising twist, one user pointed out that this was not the first time the statue had been struck by lightning, despite being named one of the new Seven Wonders of the World in 2007. In fact, it had been hit twice before, once in 2008 and again in 2014, within the span of two decades.
The user joked on one of the several posts showcasing Braga’s photos, ‘At this point Zeus or Thor. Jokes apart, this is a quite recurrent event, being the highest point, it’s just the luck of having someone doing photography at the right time.”
Another person praised Braga’s photography skills and thanked him for sharing his stills, commenting on one of his photos, “What a shot!”
A third joked: ‘Mom! Thor and Jesus are at it again!’ while another user simply stated, ‘Wow! Oh just WOW!’
Some observers commented that the photos of the lightning strike looked like a divine scene, while the video, in particular, left viewers in awe.
The images and media were captured during a storm that caused havoc in the seaside city of Rio, resulting in fallen trees in multiple neighborhoods. Fortunately, the statue was not damaged.
The same cannot be said for the statue’s previous lightning strike in January 2014, where the lightning damaged the effigy’s thumb, requiring repairs. The incident was also caught on camera.
The statue was first struck by lightning six years prior to the 2014 incident, but in that case, it was unharmed.
The statue’s location, overlooking the seaside city, could be a reason for the unusual frequency of lightning strikes. As the largest stone representation of Jesus ever built, the iconic statue stands over 2,000 feet above Rio on top of Corcovado Hill.