What's with those creepy weird blue lights accompanying the Mexico earthquake?

Originally published at: What's with those creepy weird blue lights accompanying the Mexico earthquake? | Boing Boing

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rough guidelines of lights in cities during earthquakes (/storms):

  • blue lights: electrical wires contacting/arcing to ground (British: earth)
  • green, violet: transformers blowing.
  • skulls with snakes: death-eaters
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Oh, I seen that, it ain’t pretty.

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Some of the video that made its way around the internets was pretty reminiscent of the Cloverfield trailer…

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It does seem to be a common misconception that non-volcanic seismic events can’t affect the atmosphere, which I think is in part due to a failure to educate folks on how to think in terms of complex systems—a failure that’s also contributed to people misunderstanding climate change (e.g. “there can’t be global warming because we just had the worst blizzard in history!”).

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Some scientists believe the eruption of light, or luminosity, is caused by the friction of rock near Earth’s crust

The luminescent stones in Zelda have some basis in fact?

This is turning out to be one weird decade so far…

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Piezoelectric effect from squeezing crystals in the crust?

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I’m not saying it was aliens, but…

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Q. What’s with those creepy weird blue lights accompanying the Mexico earthquake?

A. They exist and they’re neat. Time to get Mulder and Scully involved to find out whether or not this is related to a vast government conspiracy between Republicans and pharmaceutical companies to irradiate the U.S. population that has received a COVID-19 vaccine.

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That said, there’s no evidence that these videos show anything so exotic. Rather, I see a lot of exploding transformers and other man-made electrical flashes, and some lightning from a distant storm.

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I’ve experienced this myself in Santa Barbara during a small and distant earthquake event. A flash popped bright as day right about 2am, no sounds or obvious nearby exploding transformers or fires. The earthquake was barely felt. If there was any there couldn’t have been much damage throughout the area. I wasn’t the only witness and still I’ve been having this debate in my own head the better part of 20 years since.

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yes, but no mechanism for the quake to build a high enough voltage to build an arc potential between the atmosphere and the ground. quakes produce absolutely insane current flow, but the voltages are very low.

those flashes are almost assuredly arcs from transformers or other power transfer equipment.

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K-Mart is having an Earthquake Sale?

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The problem with earthquake lights is that there is still no good primary evidence that they actually exist. The reported range of phenomena called ‘earthquake lights’ is so broad that finding a mechanism is almost impossible, and those proposed - including triboluminsence, piezoluminescence and coronal discharges either don’t match observed conditions in earthquakes, or the phenomena reported.

Brian Dunning over at Skeptoid has a good digest from 2016 and not much has changed since then:

I was outside during a fairly strong earthquake in Palm Desert, California in the early 90s. It was early evening, still light outside, no wind, clear skies. There were multiple lighting strikes in the distance during the earthquake that stopped as soon as the earthquake ended. There were no visible power lines in the direction of the strikes. I don’t have the science background to make any claims about it but it sure looked like the lightning strikes were directly related to the earthquake.

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