Weird lights appearing before earthquakes


The video is looking toward the sun, and the dispersion is clearly ring-shaped, so that’s a parhelion.


I work in mining. Years ago an old coal miner I was working with told me of “lightning flashes” he had observed whilst watch rock caving into a mined out area in an underground coal mine (I was never brave enough to stick around and actually watch the caving process, although experienced the noise and wind-blast from it on many occasions). My theory was that it was some sort of piezoelectric effect caused by high stresses in the rock being released as it fractured. There have also been cases where piezoelectric energy release has been suspected of igniting methane during caving.

These mining induced rock movements are many orders of magnitude smaller than big earthquakes, of course. I see a relationship between rock stress and lights in the sky as being (almost) plausible. Not sure that I buy the physical migration of ions through the rocks, though. To me an electrostatic (where the charge migrates, rather than the physical ions) or electromagnetic transmission seems more likely.

On a related note, some Chinese researchers came to our mine many years ago to conduct an experiment to help develop a system to locate underground spontaneous combustion (of which we, unfortunately, had plenty). Their system seemed to rely on the capture of ions that had somehow migrated to the surface. The theory was that the generation of these ions somehow correlated with hot rocks and coal. Who knows?


Exactly. It looks like a part of parhelia called circumzenithal arc. If it was a plasma it should look more like aurora borealis - uniform in color. But since it has rainbow colors it is clearly a result of difraction on particles in atmosphere and not an plasma glowing discharge.

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Those “bright lights” are what scientists call clouds. I was hoping for something out of the X-Files. Or maybe Independence Day.

Looks like an ordinary sun dog rainbow to me.

Modern science supposes that electricity and magnetism is a “second-order” effect in the universe. In other words, where we see it, it was caused by other more fundamental forces. There are a surprising number of implications to this worldview – one of them being that where we see E&M, it is assumed to be localized, as opposed to seeing a small leg of a much larger electrical circuit.

Professional scientists hold to this worldview in spite of a number of observations:

  • We now observe magnetic fields associated with vast stretches of the universe. Astrophysicists and cosmologists go to enormous lengths to model these magnetic fields as though they are NOT the result of electric currents. This should bother people a lot more than it apparently does. We are often told that the magnetic fields are like “fossils”, left behind from the Big Bang (um, ok, but is this a scientific claim? …). The problem here is that we all know from high school physics that magnetic fields and electric currents tend to go hand-in-hand. In fact, that’s a fundamental principle in Silicon Valley, where products absolutely depend upon it.
  • Plasma neutrality is oftentimes treated as though it’s the same as condensed matter neutrality. This is a misnomer, and totally meaningless. There is no sense to talking about the movement of charges in collisionless gases as though we can apply the same exact principles as in condensed matter. Charge-neutrality in a plasma is specifically referred to as quasi-neutrality, and a charge-neutral plasma still conducts. See for clarification. There are many misconceptions associated with plasmas just like this one. People should take more time to carefully contemplate the concepts of physics – especially when it comes to plasmas.
  • Plasma is the universe’s dominant state of matter. But, the implication of that depends entirely upon your worldview. When it comes to the Earth, it’s important to realize that we exist within a very thin shell of charge-neutrality. One need only go a surprisingly small number of miles up, and this drastically changes. This context should, in theory, matter to a rational person when they are formulating a view of E&M they see here at the surface of the planet.
  • People should pay very close attention to the Voyager data, as it’s presumably going to help us to understand more about the electromagnetic features of interstellar space, outside the Sun’s domain. Thus far, the data has generated surprises. It’s important to note that radio astronomer, Gerrit Verschuur, has published a number of papers which document extremely filamentary regions of interstellar “HI” hydrogen. That is incredibly important, because that is what plasmas do when they are conducting electricity: We know a lot about plasmas conducting electricity from the laboratory, but much of this research is cloaked in secrecy because – and many people still do not realize this – plasmas are also the science of nuclear explosions. So, in a general sense, the public should expect some level of confusion with regards to our beliefs and the research on this subject. A safe guess is that this is not entirely a mistake.
  • E&M takes many, many forms, and as it jumps through various mediums, its appearance can change drastically. It’s important to realize that our senses are not tuned to seeing all of these forms, and that certain forms of E&M require effort to observe. Somebody who just sits back and says, “Well, extraordinary claims demand extraordinary evidence” will not specifically seek out the E&M, and they will waste a lot of peoples’ time arguing with those who ARE seeking it out.
  • There are good ideas out there in the “fringes” of science, and many of them pertain to E&M. But, notice that it’s still like the Wild West of concepts. There is no sense of order to the sea of models right now which compete with conventional science. What this means, in practical terms, is that it is basically impossible to size up many claims at the periphery of conventional science. In fact, the rational mind observes the inherent complexity of evaluating these claims, and it completely shuts down. We are still waiting for somebody to bring order to the sea of models which surrounds conventional science in such a way that it can be rationally engaged.
  • Another very intriguing aspect of plasmas is that they appear to scale over enormous magnitudes. In other words, as you think your way up to larger scales, you should be imagining something like a fractal. That’s a really important aspect of the debate which I encourage people to think deeply about, as it creates questions about this notion that the E&M is localized.

My own personal take, after digging into the subject, is that modern astrophysics and cosmology have staked a very risky bet that electric currents do not move through space, at public expense. If it turns out that they are wrong on this, then vast stretches of research are worthless. When certain arguments are put forward which ask questions that they are averse to asking themselves, professionals already know the inherent implications, and that is when the subconscious mind’s threat level kicks in.

If you do not believe it, see “AGAINST THE TIDE: A Critical Review by Scientists of How Physics and Astronomy Get Done”

"Tom Van Flandern commented to us:

I have taken aside several colleagues whose pet theories are now mainstream doctrine, and asked quizzically what it would mean to them personally if an alternative idea ultimately prevailed. To my initial shock (I was naïve enough that I did not see this coming), to a person, the individuals I asked said they would leave the field and do something else for a living. Their egos, the adulation they enjoy, and the satisfaction that they were doing something important with their lives, would be threatened by such a development. As I pondered this, it struck me that their vested interests ran even deeper than if they just had a financial stake in the outcome (which, of course, they do because of grants and promotions). So a challenger with a replacement idea would be naïve to see the process as anything less than threatening the careers of some now-very-important people, who cannot be expected to welcome that development regardless of its merit." (1 August 2002)


It’s in the comments why I like BoingBoing so much.
Instant intelligence.


Is it really too far of a stretch of the imagination to consider the possibility that this could be related to geoengineering? Quite credible sources have shown how this technology could be weaponized to cause earthquakes. What credible source has claimed that UFO’s cause earthquakes? Boing boing readers lack imagination. Your buying the equivalant of “It was swamp gas” here, and making those of us who question look like UFO freaks.

I don’t think oxygen ions can plausibly travel to such a height without reacting with something on the way, nor is it clear how or why they would be generated en masse by geological forces. UFOs would make more sense, which isn’t saying much.


Of the many things I never, ever want to experience, being in a working coal mine ranks highly on the list.

It is actually just fine. It is a bit like a civil construction, forestry or road building job in that it is highly mechanized and achieves something tangible and physical - just no sunshine. The work is quite interesting. Some people never really get comfortable being underground, but may (like me) quite enjoy it.

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So, EM-conductive plasma propagates (or agglomerates?) through space by ionizing free hydrogen in the matter filaments between the quasars?

Oxygen ions? In the earth? Just sort of hanging out there underground? Ascending into the stratosphere from cracks in the rock without bonding with anything on the way? Seriously? Come on. But huh, come to think of it, maybe that’s why running a fan in a closed room in Korea will kill you. Ions work differently in Asia, I guess.


Pesco, as █████████ explained to you many times, the UFOs are not causing the earthquakes. They are causing the special science rainbows.

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I thought this was accepted as a wide scale form of triboluminescence. Having seen this firsthand in 2007 in Perú I can say you picked a completely wrong video- or maybe I experienced a completely different earthquake light. To be fair, it was at night (and, in a city with nine million people I’m sure there are videos of it) and I was slightly worried we finally had a repeat of the 19 century earthquake (magnitude 8 was bad but 9 is something that gives me nightmares.). The sky turned clear almost as if it was sunrise for a second. A friend outside of Lima described it as flash. The old overly religious lady standing next to me started shouting apocalyptic omens.

Aha! Found one. Look at 0.46

We can only speculate what the various densities of cosmic plasmas actually do, but in the laboratory, plasmas tend to naturally form into filaments, and these filaments exhibit long-range attraction and short-range repulsion with one another. They will twist around one another without combining. And something else that astrophysicists have not been too keen on discussing is that when plasma filaments conduct in the laboratory, they can actually aggregate ions which might be floating around these transmission lines, like an ion sump. This is important insofar as it’s a mechanism which we already know about from the laboratory which could replace the problematic theory of gravitational accretion.

What the public has yet to clearly observe is that scientists have a completely different conception of the process of innovation than people who build products in the real world. We train scientists today to approach problem spaces in a very uncomprehensive manner. They are not trying to map out all of the various possibilities, as product designers often try to do. They are trying to figure out models which can be made to work as extensions of the consensus view. In other words, modern physicists insist upon investigating an incredibly thin slice of what is physically possible. Peter Woit, Fred Hoyle, Jeff Schmidt and others have discussed the problem as a function of the way in which we train professional scientists, but the public doesn’t seem to pay much heed to the way in which these investigations are done.

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