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These weird lights within the sky trace at a approach to predict earthquakes



Earthquake lights captured over Mount Kimyo, Japan, in 1968

MR. KURIBAYASHI/Courtesy of the Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America

THE resort of Acapulco in Mexico has lengthy been recognized for its sights: attractive mountains, upmarket motels, crystal clear waters. However on 7 September 2021, one thing occurred that was on no one’s want listing – a magnitude-7.0 earthquake rocked town’s sandy seashores and seafront high-rises.

Together with trembling buildings and shaking timber, these caught within the quake additionally witnessed one thing considerably extra eerie. A barrage of blue lights, like flashes of cerulean lightning, lit up the night time sky, apparently proper above the fault line. This unusual show was an instance of what are referred to as “earthquake lights”, a semi-mythical phenomenon that has cropped up in studies of tremors for hundreds of years.

The concept these blue flashes are attributable to an earthquake is commonly dismissed by scientists. Certainly, after Acapulco, some prompt the flickering lights could have come from broken energy traces. However a small group of researchers now declare to have proof for an alternate speculation. It says that when tectonic faults rupture, electrical currents are created. And whether or not these currents produce lights or not, there ought to be telltale electromagnetic alerts produced by them that may be detectable upfront.

If they’re proper, we may probably use these alerts as a warning of catastrophe. It’s a lengthy shot: the seek for methods to foretell earthquakes has annoyed us for many years. However new proof linked to those uncanny, dancing lights within the sky is shaking up the sector.

Predicting main tremors is at the moment nearly unimaginable. Scientists, together with these on the …

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