Lightning Damage to a Saguaro Cactus

Arizona Desert

In the Desert Southwest of the U.S. the late summer brings on the monsoon season. A time of year that features late afternoon thunderstorms that tower high above the desert sands below. The Saguaro cactus often falls victim to the many lightning bolts that make their way to Earth. Sometimes you can find one that has taken the full brunt of a direct lightning strike.

Saguaro Lightning 1

This Saguaro took a direct hit.

Saguaro Lightning 2

The top portion of the cactus exploded.

Saguaro Lightning 3

The pieces then rained down beside the trunk.

Saguaro Lightning 4

Leaving a pile of debris behind.

Saguaro Lightning 6

The bolt then entered the top of the cactus.

Saguaro Lightning 7

Then exited out, leaving a charred hole

Saguaro Lightning 8

It then travelled down the side, leaving a burnt trail

Saguaro Lightning 9

The bolt eventually made it to ground.

The top of this Saguaro cactus is splintered where it took a direct hit from a lightning bolt.