Why weird lights in the sky when an earthquake hits in?

Stories about lights along with an earthquake hit were there in the history since a long time ago. And people tend to believe them as some myths and takes which were said by our ancestors until some of the incidents were reported with evident photos. Due to these incidents which cannot be neglected researches started to do some dig ins in and finally have come with some strong conclusions.

Recently social media and some of the leading newspapers were reporting abnormal phenomenon occurred with an earthquake. An earthquake with magnitude 8.1 hit coast of Mexico on 7th of September, 2017 recorded as the heaviest earthquake hit the Mexico during the century. What makes it so talkative topic was not only the deaths and destruction but also the flashing lights there was all the time in the sky. According to the Mirror, “Mexicans report bizarre flashing lights in sky during earthquake with many believing they’re UFOs or the APOCALYPSE”. And then the Sun reported it as “Mysterious blue and green lights flashing in the sky as Mexico earthquake hits send UFO hunters into a frenzy”. With lots of video footages coming in everyone was wondering what those creepy lights could be!

Even from early days these lights with white flares to varied to rainbow colored clouds were reported time to time after earthquakes. Even a paper from 1988 has reported same kind of incident but it seems like the scientists were not ready to accept a relationship between the lights and the earthquake, “I mention these things, but I do not think that they were in any way connected with the earthquake.”

But recently in 1913 a survey had concluded, “At the present stage of our observations it is not scientific or rational either to affirm or to deny the existence of luminous earthquake phenomena.”

When we talk about most recent times with the cameras coming in to the scene, there was some situations where scientists couldn’t reject this phenomenon. Specially with the earthquake in Negano, Japan dated in the year of 1965, lights could be visible and scientists came up with the idea that those lights were generated due to movements of rocks with the destruction of earthquake which was idea that couldn’t be proved in a lab.

So in 2014, a research team directed by Robert Theriault could come up with promising reasons with the researches done through 65 earthquakes with illuminating lights recorded since 17th century. According to them the reason that this light effect is so rare as in 95% of seismic activity happens in the boundaries between tectonic plates while 85% of activity happened when a single tectonic plate cracks which is called as “continental rifting”, which happened so rare only 5% .

Earthquake is happening when the stress in the Earth’s crust is released. But with experiments, before the earthquake, the stress breaks the bonds between the pairs of negatively charged oxygen atoms. So these charged atoms will be released and come out through the cracks in the rocks to the surface. So all these released atoms are known to be high density oxygen ions which gives an electric charge to the air revolving them into radiant plasma that we see as eerie lights. This tectonic stress could be built up over minutes, hours or even days.

So this reason and conclusion is more acceptable than some UFO’s making an earthquake and leaving the planet or lights generating due to movement of rocks I guess.

Earthquake Lights

(Photo: Jim Conacher)

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