The earthquake in New Zealand was accompanied by strange flashes in the sky

According to eyewitnesses before and after the beginning of aftershocks in the sky New Zealand, there was a strange flash of light. Anomalous luminescence recorded near Christchurch, which suffered from the natural disaster.

Local residents reported that when the earthquake began, during tremors the sky was lit with a strange light flash lasted from 5 to 9 seconds. The flashes were blue, green and white.

“Lights of earthquakes” — this is an unusual luminous atmospheric phenomenon, which, as noted, appears in the sky near or directly in a zone of tectonic stress, seismic activity or volcanic eruptions. The fact was undisputed until he was taken photos during the earthquake in the city of Matsushiro, Nagano, Japan from 1965 to 1967, Only then, seismologists acknowledged the existence of this phenomenon.

Flash of light is celebrated during earthquakes, although sometimes received messages glows prior to earthquakes, as during an earthquake in Kalapana in 1975. As reported, they have shape and color similar to the glow of the Aurora, from white to bluish, and sometimes with a wider light spectrum. Usually the luminosity lasts a few seconds, although sometimes it lasts for tens of minutes. Visibility distance from the epicenter varies. In 1930, during an earthquake, in Go, the luminosity was seen at a distance of 70 miles from the epicenter. In Tianshu glow occurred at a distance of 400 km North-northeast of the epicenter. The phenomenon was also observed and was captured on film during the earthquake in L’aquila and Chile in 2009 and 2010, respectively. About the glow was reported during the earthquake in Amuri, New Zealand, that occurred 1 September 1888. The phenomenon was observed on the morning of 1 September, Rifon, and again on 8 September.


The mechanism that generates the “lights of earthquakes” is unknown. There are many theories about how and why they arise.

One explanation lies in the strength of electromagnetic fields created by piezoelectricity due to tectonic movements of rocks containing quartz.

Another possible explanation is a local breakdown in the Earth’s magnetic field and/or ionosphere in the area of tectonic stresses, leading to lighting effects, observed or due to the radioactive recombination in the ionosphere at low altitudes and higher atmospheric pressure or as Aurora. Yet, this phenomenon does not declare publicly it is obvious or not observed at all earthquakes, and should be checked experimentally.

“Lights of earthquakes” — the latest from folk beliefs that have tried to explain the phenomenon of “wandering lights”. German psychologist, Dr. G. Schweitzer, was the first who clearly demonstrated that the strange moving terrestrial and heavenly lights appear because of the phenomenon known as autokinetic effect.

Fire ghosts of tragedies

Phenomenon about which speech will go, are known to mankind since time immemorial. At least one of the first mentions of it dates back to 373 BC and refers to Ancient Rome. Over the centuries, accumulated a lot of facts about unusual light effects associated with earthquakes. These effects are observed as during the earthquake, and shortly before the first push, playing thus the role of original (optical) harbingers of disaster.


Lighting effects in connection with earthquakes by the nature of manifestation can be divided into four groups.

1. Nonlocal glow. This group of glow air, sky, and flashes in the sky. Here are a few examples.

The earthquake of 1703 in Genroku (Japan), which had a magnitude of 8.2 on the Richter scale, caused in the area South of Edo (now Tokyo) colossal destruction. For several nights before the most strong drive and after witnesses saw the glow of air. The same thing happened during the tragedy Ashgabat October 5, 1948 (magnitude of the earthquake to 7.6). Geophysicist V. P. Savchenko, which the blow of underground elements caught on the streets, said: “it all Started suddenly. I heard a low heavy rumble, the earth suddenly went from under his feet. New impetus, even more than before, threw me to the ground. Circle heard screams of people in the weak light of the lantern I saw with horror as collapsed into the veil of dust, the nearest house. And then something happened something terrible — was air flare… You read must be in science fiction novels, as a man, before getting into another, alien world, or covered by “a ghastly greenish fog, or part of “ghostly blue glow, or something more trenchant… And here fantasy reality plus menacing rumble, crashing, trees swaying like blades of grass under the wind.”

On the eve of the earthquake of 1855 in Edo (magnitude 6.9) in the sea there was a group of 19 people. Shortly before the first shock, people suddenly noticed the glow of the sky in the North-East. It was so bright that it was easy to see distinctly colored patterns on the clothes. Soon after the glow from under the water he heard a terrible roar, which caused people to assume that the bottom of the boat hit a lot of gravel. And immediately a bright flame, accompanied by different sounds that covered all the sky. Before the Tashkent earthquake of 26 April 1966, which had a magnitude of 5, according to some residents, the sky above the epicenter also glowed. The glow of the city was observed a few hours before the shock, and was whitish-pink color, reminding the scattered light lightning.

Flash in the sky was observed before several earthquakes, for example, on the eve of the underground strike September 1, 1923 in Kanto (area surrounding Tokyo) saw a flash of light one woman in the center of the Japanese capital. Noteworthy is the message of the scientist-geologist, witness the earthquake in Ashgabat (1948): “the hotel I went back later and was about to go to bed, suddenly saw a strange flash, silently illuminating the horizon… I thought it was a thunderstorm, and therefore the subsequent roar and the concussion, I took a late first as the thunder…” a Similar description belongs eyewitness earthquake in Tashkent (1966): “I heard a strong noise from the left side, resembling engine noise, immediately on the same side appeared unusually bright flash of dazzling white, which for a few seconds increased in fury with such force that I had to close my eyes. Then came a jolt that nearly brought down me from feet. After the push, the light quickly began to fade”. The catastrophic earthquake in Northern China (magnitude 8 ) was also intermittent-light effect. The hot sultry night of July 28, 1976 a huge bright flash in the sky suddenly lit up all around. After her terrible blow shook Tangshan-Fennan is one of the most densely populated areas of China, located 150 km South-East of Beijing — destroyed many residential buildings, agricultural buildings and factories.

2. Linear luminous structure. These include glow bands, arcs, vertical pillars or torches.

So, when the earthquake in the Izu Peninsula (Japan) November 26, 1930 (magnitude 7), according to local residents, in the sky appeared a long strip, reminiscent of the Northern lights.

And that’s what the witness told the Ashkhabad catastrophe meteorologist Pomorski: “Before bed, I went out to get some fresh air. Suddenly there was a blindingly bright electric discharges. They formed an arc that was approaching from the mountains in my direction and went to the land near the water tower 30≈40 m from me. Then came a gust of wind. He stopped instantly, and immediately shook the earth”.

The earthquake of 1927 in the Crimea is remarkable light effects in the form of fiery pillars that rose above the sea. Opposite Cape Lucullus these pillars ascended to great heights — 500 m Something similar was observed by one witness Tashkent tragedy: “Over the Tashkent was a cloudless starry sky. Out of the ground with a hiss escaped and soared above the rooftops of giant light the torch. Quite clearly defined around the edges and blurred at the top, it all expanded and was shaped like a candle flame. Looking up from the ground, a mysterious omen dissolved in the blazing pink light of summer lightnings”.

3. Compact luminous objects. This group includes the luminescence in a form close to spherical.

During the earthquake in 1911 in Germany in the cloudless sky began to emerge fireballs. A similar picture was observed by the fishermen gathered to pull the boat in the water in the evening shortly before the earthquake in the Izu Peninsula (1930). They suddenly saw West of mount Amagi bright spherical body, with great speed swept North-West direction.

With the stroke of underground elements 1847 in Shinshu (Japan), the magnitude of which was of 7.4, also linked light effects. Japanese scientist T. Terada sought a historical document, which States the following: “against the background of dark sky in the direction of the mountain Iduna appeared fiery cloud. It was seen as it rotated and then disappeared. Immediately after this there was a roar, and behind him there was a strong earthquake.” Something similar — the luminous cloud of ellipsoidal shape above the center is seen during Kasymbekova push in the Caucasus on 20 April 1966 (magnitude 5.5).

4. The glow surrounding objects. This includes cases glow soil, equipment, wires and shut off fluorescent lights.

For example, in the Carpathian earthquake in 1940 (magnitude 7.5), eyewitnesses observed in the epicentral area the illumination of the soil and mountain peaks. A similar case took place during the underground strike 24th October 1959 with a magnitude of 5.7 in Central Asia (its epicenter was located 70 km from Tashkent): bluish flame covered slopes surrounding villages of mountain ranges.

A very unusual testimony came from one witness of the earthquake in Kamchatka July 5, 1971: in the village Krutoberegovo (located approximately 100 km from the epicenter) at the time of a push suddenly lit up the hood of the tractor on rubber tires.

The same Carpathian earthquake remarkably diverse light effects. Besides the already known to the reader, do note the glow predominantly red hue, communication lines and power lines.

But perhaps the record number was different lighting effects can be considered as repeatedly mentioned by the Tashkent earthquake. Now we are particularly interested in this fact. Had some witnesses drew attention to the spontaneous glow of fluorescent lamps is switched off.

The glow stopped after an hour and a half after the first tremor. Lamps, however, began to glow and before some of the repeated shocks of the Tashkent earthquake.


In 1924, Tashkent geophysicist E. A. Cherniavsky drew attention to the indignation geoelectric field before the earthquake. In the summer he along with his expedition arrived in Jalalabad (Kyrgyzstan) to study atmospheric electricity in the field. “In the day when we were struck by the unusual behavior of our device, — wrote E. A. Cherniavsky, — the sky was clear. However, the instrument clearly showed in the atmosphere broke out the electric storm with extremely high potential. This is what measure failed, as the needle went beyond the scale. And two hours later opened up the earth. We saw cracks with a width of 1.5–2 m and a length of 40 m. that’s when I thought, maybe the earthquake was the cause of the abnormal state of the atmospheric electric field?” Five hours underground hit in Tashkent April 26, 1966, there was indignation geoelectric field.

Field amplification in the absence of any meteorological reason (thunderstorm, dust storm) may occur, for example, if the rocks at depth or the surface of the land is free electric charges.

According to the Tomsk scientist, Professor AA Vorobyov, the charges appear as a result of deformation and failure of rock masses slide crushed material, etc. These processes may precede the earthquake. If the charges are not shielded by overlying rocks, the lines of force come to the surface, increasing the tension of the atmospheric electric field.

The crust consists of separate tectonic plates that are in constant motion. “When grappled projections collapse, an earthquake, — says Yuri Malyshkov — and yet, according to our assumption lithospheric electromagnetic fields in the region of compression will be suppressed, and in the field of tension — increase. In the atmosphere will begin the directed movement of charged particles (ions and free electrons) from areas with large fields to smaller fields. But the lighter electrons will move much faster. The region of compression with a low field strength will gradually be charged negatively, and the area of stretching — behind a positive charge”. According to Yu Malyshkov like a natural accelerator of charged particles is included before the earthquake and can run tens of hours. The tension of the atmospheric electric field also increases.

In school physics classes, we learn that not carrying current substances, or dielectrics, have actually not unlimited dielectric strength. Air — gaseous dielectric — is no exception. And then on the ground the items it is possible to appearance similar to the brush cones of light — lights Elmo.

Some researchers have drawn attention to the fact that the light anomalies are observed when in the earthquake area close to the surface is overlain by quartz texture. We mention the well-known experiments of the American researcher B. Brady. Into the dark chamber was placed a piece of granite (containing, as is known, quartz crystals), where he was subjected to mechanical stress. Method time-lapse photography recorded the destruction of granite. Checking captured footage, B. Brady found glow that came from him and as it filled the entire chamber. By repeating the experiment glow was visible already in a darkened room, and in one exceptional case there was a bright light even in daylight.

In the late 80-ies of employees Abastumani astrophysical Observatory of the Georgian Academy of Sciences, Toroshelidze T. I. and Fishkova L. M. found that a few hours before the earthquake high in the atmosphere (about 100 km) above the epicenter increased, the luminescence intensity of the green line of atomic oxygen. In the night from 21 to 22 September 1990, the researchers again observed a twofold enhancement of the green luminescence in the direction of Dagestan. And in the morning on September 22 there really was an earthquake of magnitude 6. According to scientists, the excitation of the upper atmosphere occurs under infrasonic waves from the source of the impending earthquake. In fact, the explosive growth in the number of microcracks in the earth’s crust before the push can produce infrasound. If its intensity is large enough, then, spreading up infrasound waves are able to transfer part of its energy to atoms of oxygen, making them re-emit it in the form of light with characteristic for the element wavelength.

You should consider this. In the surface air over places of geological faults, as stated, the concentration of, for example, a chemically active gas such as ozone, is several times above the background values. Made quite a reasonable assumption about the significant increase of the ozone concentration before the earthquake the bowels start off kind of hard to breathe this gas. Ozone is a strong oxidizing agent, moreover, it is poisonous. It is not excluded that alarming animals on the eve of the underground strike (because some of them are known for their sensitivity to various atmospheric pollution) and adverse effects on people living near the fault (the incidence exceeds the average level), namely ozone. However, we are now interested in more.

Doctor of chemical Sciences M. T. Dmitriev many years ago discovered and investigated in detail the air luminescence caused by present in it chemically active trace species particles. Usually it is so weak that the visual is completely transparent and is marked only with special devices. But with a sharp increase in the concentration of these particles glow may be noticeable at night. The area of the bright glow called zones chemiluminescence. These zones can pulsate, to have a different color (blue, red) and move.

The nature of this phenomenon different, but this strange light is often warning us about earthquakes.

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