The video was captured during an afternoon thunderstorm in NYC on Wednesday.

By Andrea Romano
July 23, 2020

No, this isn’t footage from a movie.

A video of a lightning strike behind the Statue of Liberty in New York City has been making the rounds on social media — namely for its very ominous (but also kind of beautiful) view.

Michael Calabrese posted the impressive shot on Twitter with the caption, “The best video I ever captured.” The video shows a view of Lady Liberty as storms rolled in over New York Harbor on Wednesday, July 22.

And if the dark storm clouds weren’t enough, a shocking stroke of lightning suddenly appears on screen. Seeing such an iconic landmark in such a dramatic situation seems like something more common in apocalyptic summer blockbuster movies than real life.

Calabrese told USA Today that he was working on board the Miss New York, a ferry boat run by Statue Cruises, when he started to film the statue, not knowing that he was about to capture something truly epic. “I was just in the right place at the right time,” Calabrese told USA Today. “I did my best to keep it as still as possible and contain my excitement.”

Calabrese has an interest in weather and used his phone to capture the footage. Many people on Twitter responded to his video. One user replied, “Any other year this is cool. In 2020 it just comes off as particularly ominous.”

While some couldn’t help but draw inferences about the symbolism of seeing such a menacing sight, others relished in making jokes and comments. “It’s a little on the nose,” said one user, noting how this is the kind of sight you might expect to see in as turbulent a year as 2020 has been, especially for the U.S. Some jokingly referenced the Lady Liberty scenes in Ghostbusters as well.

Calabrese is also a photographer and posts many stunning shots of New York City on Instagram.