The Aleya Ghost Lights are officially a global phenomenon…well, almost. These strange lights were known to suddenly appear to travelers passing through marshy wetlands and just float around on air.
However, it’s a bit interesting how no one was ever able to walk up to them since they always evaded any human approach.
The most amazing thing is the fact that they star in “folklore galore” across the globe…wait, can I say that?
Okay, maybe not…but the point is, they can win a spot in the Guinness Book of World-Records for “The most widespread folklore mystery that never was!”
All eyewitness accounts recorded throughout history say that the ghostly lights appear as orbs and sometimes as tongues of candle flames…and the funny part is that their sightings are mostly reported near marshes, bogs, and swamps.
The name “Aleya” originated from the marshlands of West Bengal where the lights were interpreted differently by the locals.
While both sides agreed on the lights representing the spirits of fishermen who met their death fishing in the murky waters, the groups were torn between whether the lights were evil spirits that led people to destruction or good spirits that helped fishermen get out of trouble.
But is that all about the ghostly lights and the controversy behind them?
Far from it…
As mentioned earlier, these lights are not unique to a single place…, or continent for that matter; as we are going see shortly.
Different Cultures, Different Folklores, Same Ghost Lights…
This where it gets even more interesting…
The legend of the floating ghostly lights or “foolish fire” as the Latins called it…is shared by different cultures all over the world and called by different names;
- From Australia down under (Min min lights) to
- Europe (Will-o’-the- Wisp or Jack-o’-lantern);
- From North America (ghostly orbs or spook-lights) to
- South America (luz mala);
- And other parts of Asia like Japan (Hi no Tama) and the Indo-Pakistani areas near the border (Chir batti).
In Europe, folklores connecting to the strange swamp lights differ from region to region.
The Swedes myth says that the lights were unbaptized souls looking for redemption while in Estonia, Lithuania, Denmark, Finland and Latvia, the lights represented the secret location of buried treasure.
In Britain, we can see the same lights appearing differently in the Scottish and Welsh folklores. However, one thing is clear, the lights were considered evil in Scotland and Wales because they tricked travelers off their path.
The North American version says that the lights represented souls of dead railroad workers while their neighbors in the South, Uruguay, and Argentina, believed that the lights were evil and somewhat connected to witchcraft…
…a much feared subject but widespread belief among rural dwellers where these lights mostly appear.
The list goes on…but is there a logical answer to this seemingly paranormal occurrence?
Is it possible to have spontaneous combustion in thin air?
Let’s take a look at the science side of things…
Has Science Cracked The Mystery?
Of course, you didn’t expect science to just sit back and watch you have all the fun with your “not-so-credible” metaphysics BS, did you?
So the year is 1776, and Alessandro Volta has just discovered the gas methane. He tries to explain the marshland bursts of fireballs as the reaction between marsh gasses (which include methane of course…) and natural sources of electricity like lightning.
Although he had support from fellow scientists, Pierre Bertholon de Saint-Lazare and Joseph Priestley, his ideas were kicked to the curb by the public.
He could not answer why the lights always seemed to run away from people…stop when you stopped, and then followed you when you turned back to walk away?
Fast forward to 1832 and Volta gets another supporter by the name of Louis Blesson who comes up with the answer…Air displacement!
As we move, we push the air in front of us and the ripple effect of that is what kept pushing these lights away because they are gasses and very light…make any sense?
Hold that thought… science gets even weirder!
Two geologists, Professors Derr and his counterpart Persinger believe that the lights are caused by tectonic strains.
And yet, a third geologist, a Brit known as Allan Mills seems to support the earlier methane theory; calling it a hydrocarbon “pre-combustion” process.
So there you go…all you need to know about the Aleya ghost lights.
What do you think?
Is science right?
Can the mysterious lights be a result of the supernatural?
Who really has the answer?
Many other critics who don’t believe in the scientific explanation or the folklores tend to think that these are mere fireflies and other bioluminescent creatures playing tricks on people who want to believe in the extraordinary…
Could this be the case?