E X P L A N A T I O N S ?
There are places on earth where unexplained, ghostly lights sometimes appear at night. They’re generally called spooklights, will-o-the-wisps, foxfire, jack-o’-lanterns, or ignis fatuus (Latin for Fool’s Fire). Some claim that “swamp gas” (principally methane) released by dying plant and animal matter spontaneously ignites and creates the effects. However, most enduring spooklights do not behave in a manner consistent with traditional gaseous activity.
The Brown Mountain Lights are perhaps the most visually-spectacular of all unexplained, natural illuminations. They occur on the side of a mountain where no swampy areas exist. However, they don’t appear “gaseous,” anyway. When gas is released into the air, it spreads and diffuses into the atmosphere. The Brown Mountain Lights appear to be self-contained, concentrated balls of light which can maneuver the mountain indepdendently. While traveling, and clearly not attached to a stationary “fuel port,” they can continue to “burn” for a minute or more. The lights can also be extraordinarily bright (even when viewed many miles away); seemingly far too bright for known natural gas to produce. They frequently appear when the conditions are dry. Why wouldn’t balls of ignited gas burn up the mountain as they move through the trees? They’ve never been known to start a fire.
Another theory is that the lights may be an electrically charged plasma: some form of ball lightning. But of course, the formation of such manifestations is, in itself, a mystery to current science.
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