MEXICO: To everyone’s surprise, strange and unexplained flashes were seen amid a massive magnitude 8.1 earthquake in Mexico, on Thursday, that killed dozens of people, said the Independent.
The flashes – which actually resembled lightning – lit up the sky after the tremor hit the city and elsewhere. The earthquake was the strongest to hit the country in 85 years and triggered a tsunami warning.
The intense shakes also led to strange blue and green flashes lighting up the night sky as people fled into the streets to avoid the danger. Little is known about why they occur, though they have been reported for years.
Some argue that they are connected to the energy being released from the ground, while others say they are the result of secondary effects like explosions from power stations or electricity cables.
The mystery of the flashes has even led people to think of them as supernatural.
“In the past, people often interpreted [earthquake lights] in religious terms, and in modern times they thought of UFOs, although there is a completely rational physical explanation that we are working on,” Friedemann Freud, who co-authored a study about the lights, told National Geographic.
Professor Freud’s study claimed that the lights came about because of the electrical properties of rocks on the ground. The energy from the tremors releases electrical charges from the rocks, which can then show bright blue and green lights across the sky in the wake of a tremor.
However, other geological experts say that the lights are not actually anything to do with the ground at all. Instead, the flashes are small explosions coming from generators and other power systems that then can be seen across the night sky, they claim.