Red Sprites Create Psychedelic Light Show in English Channel


Odd lights in the sky are usually chalked up to UFOs, aliens, or malevolent shadow governments. However, a recent sighting in Europe shows that sometimes, weird lights in the sky have a much more natural but equally mysterious cause. Last month, residents of southern England and northern France were presented with a psychedelic light show as skies over the English channel were set alight with brilliant red streaks created by one of Earth’s rarest atmospheric phenomena. Photographer Stephanie Vetter posted images of the rare display to Facebook where they soon went viral, as pictures of weird phenomena normally do.

The images show otherworldly red streaks lighting up the nighttime skies.

The images were shot from Hohneck, one of the highest peaks of the Vosges Mountains in Lorraine, far from the French coast. It turns out the pictures show what is known as red sprites, a type of electrical discharge which is seldom caught on camera.

Such discharges typically occur for less than a second.

Due to their rather elusive nature, sprites aren’t well understood by meteorologists. Unlike more conventional lightning, sprites occur above clouds and are cold discharges rather than hot. Sprites have more in common with the light produced by fluorescent lights than they do traditional lightning bolts.

The sheer number of pictures taken of this sprite storm is unprecedented.

Similar sprite sightings are often mistook for UFOs, and some UFO believers even claim the sprite explanation is a convenient cover-up similar to the worn-out “swamp gas” claims often thrown around in classic UFO cases. Now that smartphone cameras have become ubiquitous, it’s much easier to catch these rare phenomena on film, causing all sorts of wild conjectures any time a rare atmospheric discharge is caught on camera. It makes you wonder how the civilizations of the future will look back at us; it’s common for us to scoff at the beliefs of previous epochs which have since been disproven, but that the time those theories were cutting edge. Who knows what future discoveries might be made about these red sprites and similar mysterious phenomenon?




Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

More From: News


Choose A Format
Personality quiz
Series of questions that intends to reveal something about the personality
Trivia quiz
Series of questions with right and wrong answers that intends to check knowledge
Voting to make decisions or determine opinions
Formatted Text with Embeds and Visuals
The Classic Internet Listicles
The Classic Internet Countdowns
Open List
Submit your own item and vote up for the best submission
Ranked List
Upvote or downvote to decide the best list item
Upload your own images to make custom memes
Youtube, Vimeo or Vine Embeds
Soundcloud or Mixcloud Embeds
Photo or GIF
GIF format