Those Unexplained Earthquake Lights
By James Donahue
Among the unexplained mysteries of the world are reports (and even photographs)
of various kinds of flashing lights in the sky that appear to be connected to earthquakes.
The lights flash sometimes just before the ground shakes. At other times
they have been observed in the midst of an earthquake. Sometimes when there is an earthquake, there are no reports of lights
in the sky. The lights, which usually are no more than an unexpected flash, might appear in unexpected places. They may even
display various colors.
An Italian physicist, Cristiano Ferugia,
has studied reports of these strange earthquake light reports, some dating as long ago as 2,000 B.C.
Earthquake lights have remained an elusive mystery .
. . almost a myth for years because they have been reported but there is no scientific explanation for the phenomenon, and
the rare photographs that have turned up fail to prove that the lights in the sky were connected to anything going on in the
earth below, or that the pictures were taken while an earthquake is occurring.
Research as to the cause of these strange flashes of light and their relationship to earthquakes
has been almost impossible because the flashes sometimes occur even before the earthquake is noticed, and they are like an
unexpected lightning bolt that is almost impossible to be measured or analyzed.
There have been a few interesting theories.
Dr. Friedemann Freund, a NASA physicist, suggested in 2003 that the lights are the result of electrical
charges caused by the movement of the rocky plates. He proposed that shock-waves from the earthquakes charge the
electrical properties of silicon and other minerals causing them to transmit currents and release an electric flash.
Other theories are slightly more complicated. One is
that amber and other crystals like quartz in the rocks build up an electrical charge when under pressure. Since there is obvious
pressure build-up in the massive plates just before an earthquake occurs, this might explain why the lights are observed before
the ground shakes.
Yet another thought is that the light can
be explained through sonoluminescence, a difficult-to-understand concept of light from sound. This theory also involves the
presence of water where the earthquake occurs. Lab experiments have shown that when bubbles in fluids suddenly collapse, they
can release flashes of light.
research via data transmitted from various new satellites will someday provide proof of the link between the flashing lights
and earthquakes, and study the electromagnetic phenomena associated with earthquakes.
While most people are unaware of it, the ground under our feet is in constant
movement. Earthquakes, most of them too small for us to notice, are constantly happening. Measuring instruments record numerous
quakes all over the world every single day.
appears that the major quakes, the ones that cause buildings to crack and people to rush out into the street, are the ones
linked to the flashing lights.