The good news here is there’s a scientific sort-of-explanation for this terrifying photo of volcanic lightning, which occurred during a recent eruption of Japan’s Mt.¬†Sakurajima (from NASA):

Why lightning occurs even in common thunderstorms remains a topic of research, and the cause of volcanic lightning is even less clear. Surely, lightning bolts help quench areas of opposite but separated electric charges. One hypothesis holds that catapulting magma bubbles or volcanic ash are themselves electrically charged, and by their motion create these separated areas. Other volcanic lightning episodes may be facilitated by charge-inducing collisions in volcanic dust. Lightning is usually occurring somewhere on Earth, typically over 40 times each second.

However, we agree it’s a lot more fun presented out of context. So, send only the photo to your friends, and freak them out a bit.