- Images of strange blue lights have emerged after the tragic earthquake in Morocco
- Experts say the glow could be a rare phenomenon called “seismic lights.”
Strange videos have emerged following Morocco’s devastating earthquake, showing mysterious lights in the sky before the tremor struck.
Blue lights were seen flashing above Agadir, at the foot of the Atlas Mountains, hours before the 6.8 magnitude quake struck.
Although the clips have not been verified, the unexplained sightings have baffled onlookers, with some suggesting a UFO or lightning strike could be the cause.
Another possible explanation could be “seismic lights” – a rare phenomenon said to occur during times of seismic stress.
But no one knows for sure if seismic lights exist, or what causes them.
Images of strange blue lights have emerged following devastating Morocco earthquake
WHAT ARE SEISMIC LIGHTS?
These unusual lights are thought to occur amid changes that occur in the Earth’s magnetic field during an earthquake or volcanic eruption.
Scientists hypothesize that electrical charges in crustal rocks ionize air molecules as they rise to the surface.
This reaction is thought to be the cause of these strange lights, but much remains unexplained.
“The earthquake (in Morocco) happened during the night,” geophysicist Dr. Friedemann Freund told the Washington Post.
“The conditions for seismic lights to be seen by people and perhaps even recorded by cameras would be relatively high.”
Long considered a myth, these unusual lights are thought to occur amid changes that occur in the Earth’s magnetic field during an earthquake or volcanic eruption.
The lights can take on a variety of shapes, from a sphere of pink light to four-inch “flames” above the sidewalk.
The latter phenomenon is believed to have occurred in the historic town of L’Aquila, Italy, just seconds before the 2009 earthquake.
Meanwhile, a bright purple orb of light reportedly moved across the sky near Quebec’s St. Lawrence River in 1988, 11 days before a powerful earthquake.
In 2014, Dr. Friedemann and his colleagues studied 65 unexplained reports of these lights dating back to 1600.
Geologists say the 6.8 magnitude quake is the largest earthquake to hit the heart of the country in more than 120 years.
Rescuers are still searching for survivors, with some forced to dig with their bare hands in remote areas because heavy lifting equipment cannot reach them.
They discovered that 85% of these phenomena occurred near cracks in the Earth’s crust, commonly called “faults.”
Most sightings also occurred before or during an earthquake, but rarely afterward.
This pattern has led scientists to believe that the accumulation of seismic stress is the main driver of seismic lights.
They hypothesize that electrical charges “activated” in crustal rocks ionize air molecules as they rise to the surface.
This reaction is thought to generate strange lights almost like a battery, but much still remains a mystery.
“This is one of the very few documented accounts of someone acting on the presence of seismic lights,” said Robert Thériault of Quebec’s Ministry of Natural Resources, who worked on the study.
“Seismic fires as a pre-seismic phenomenon, in combination with other types of parameters that vary before seismic activity, could one day help predict the approach of a major earthquake.”
READ MORE: Where did the earthquake strike in Morocco? Map reveals epicenter was in the High Atlas Mountains
This map reveals the epicenter of Morocco’s deadly earthquake, which killed more than 2,500 people and injured thousands more when it struck last Friday.
Geologists said the magnitude 6.8 temblor was the largest earthquake to hit the country’s heartland in more than 120 years and the deadliest in six decades.
Where the earthquake struck: This map reveals the epicenter of Morocco’s deadly earthquake, which killed more than 2,500 people and injured thousands more when it struck last Friday.