Mystery surrounds Australia's Min Min Lights
By T.K. Randall
December 6, 2016 · 31 comments
The phenomenon is popular with tourists. Image Credit: CC BY-SA 3.0 gondwananet.com
Strange balls of light have puzzled visitors and locals alike in Western Queensland for over a century.
These eerie glowing orbs, which the local Aborginal people believe to be the spirits of the deceased, are said to follow unsuspecting travellers and can even reduce grown men to tears.
One witness - Genevieve Hammond - had been out camping with her husband in Queensland's Channel Country on a particularly clear and cold night when she encountered the phenomenon.
"We were on a remote cattle station," she said. "We were camping out and we saw this greenish oval shaped blurry light bobbing up and down. It was parallel to the horizon, about a kilometre away, and seemed to be a metre from the ground. It moved very slowly to the left and then came back on itself and it went on like this for about 15 minutes. It was silent and very eerie."
"It couldn't have been anything else, there's no other explanation, it was the Min Min light."
Possible explanations for the phenomenon range from UFOs to fireflies and swamp gas, but now according to Jack Pettigrew, a neuroscientist at the University of Queensland, the strange lights could actually be a nocturnal version of the Fata Morgana mirage - a rare optical illusion that can make ocean-going ships appear to be floating above the horizon.
"I experienced the phenomenon myself as well as hearing about it from graziers," he said. "We were surprised that the bright spot of light was still there when we turned off the headlights."
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