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Strange lights spotted in Morocco earthquake videos


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Strange lights spotted in Morocco earthquake videos may be a phenomenon reported for centuries, scientists say (msn.com)

Reports of “earthquake lights,” like the ones seen in videos captured before Friday’s 6.8-magnitude earthquake in Morocco, go back centuries to ancient Greece.


These outbursts of bright, dancing light in different colors have long puzzled scientists, and there’s still no consensus on what causes them, but they are “definitely real,” said John Derr, a retired geophysicist who used to work at the US Geological Survey.  He has coauthored several scientific papers on earthquake lights, or EQL.

“Seeing EQL depends on darkness and other favorability factors,” he explained in an email.

He said the recent video from Morocco shared online looked like the earthquake lights caught on security cameras during a 2007 quake in Pisco, Peru.

Juan Antonio Lira Cacho, a physics professor at Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos in Peru and the Pontifical Catholic University of Peru, who has studied the phenomenon, said cell phone video and the widespread use of security cameras has made studying earthquake lights easier.

“Forty years ago, it was impossible,” he said. “If you saw them nobody would believe what you saw.”


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