A shocking photo sparks questions on what really happens before lightning strikes.

Robert Richie captured the unique moment just before lightning struck in Minoa, New York. The photo looks like there was a problem with developing (back when we use to do that) or a glitch in the phone it was taken on.

But it's neither of those things. It actually happened. "I think it was some sort of energy burst, but I'm not a meteorologist," said Richie.

First Photo

Credit - Rob Richie
Credit - Rob Richie
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Second Photo

The second photo shows the lightning bolt appearing.

Credit - Rob Richie
Credit - Rob Richie
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Third Photo

The third and final photo shows the lightning bolt we're all used to seeing.

Credit - Rob Richie
Credit - Rob Richie
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Microburst?

We're no meteorologists either. So what the heck happened? Is that what a microburst actually looks like or is it something completely different? Inquiring minds want to know.

Credit - Rob Richie
Credit - Rob Richie
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Once in Lifetime Lightning Photo

Mother Nature can be beautiful and dangerous at the same time. A once-in-a-lifetime photo was captured during a storm in Delaware County, New York that looks more like a painting. And it was just a stroke of luck.

Credit - Alex Poole
Credit - Alex Poole
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Alex Poole shot the stunning cloud to ground strike from his property in East Meredith, New York. "I came home from work and pulled into a new piece of property my wife and I bought to kind of unwind for the day and just old got lucky with my cell phone."

Every big event Alex and his wife, Annamarie have done together has rained. "From our engagement to buying our house and our wedding to purchasing this new property," said Alex. "Nature is a huge part of my family's lives and this picture is one of the coolest I've ever taken."

What makes it even cooler is if you look closely, you can see what appears to be a fire-breathing dragon.

Credit - Alex Poole
Credit - Alex Poole
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Sand to Glass

Lightning can do amazing things. Just look what a Waterville woman found after lightning struck in her backyard.

Forget a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow. Angela Soucia found glass at the end of a lightning bolt just like a scene right out of the movie Sweet Home Alabama. "See the shine? It's where the sand turned to glass."

Lightning Strikes Through Tree, Turns Sand to Glass