Last Friday 8 Septemberearthquake magnitude 6.8 shook the mountains High Atlasto Morocco, leaving at this point almost 3,000 dead and more than 5,000 wounded. Terror broke out in a matter of seconds. However, a few minutes earlier, those people whose world had literally collapsed on them were able to enjoy a beautiful and strange light show. It is not known exactly what happened, but scientists believe it was an episode of what many call “earthquake lights”.

They are lights looks like auroras, which were described hundreds and even thousands of years ago, just before the earthquakes. They were also depicted as fireballs or flashes, sometimes lasting several seconds and in some cases several minutes. It’s unclear what causes them, so researchers are very intrigued. And if it is proven that there really is a clear connection with tremors, perhaps they could be just that. earthquake predictor what we need so much.

To this day, there is no way to detect tremors like those that occurred in Morocco just a few days ago. Some signals have been detected, such as changes in the behavior of some animals, but nothing reliable enough to be used as a prediction. IN seismograph detection this gives clues about what will happen. But the earthquake lights may provide some clue. Of course, for this you need to have a very clear understanding of what causes them. And this at the moment remains a mystery that only a few have touched. hypothesis.

History of earthquakes

The oldest record of earthquake lights comes from 373 BC, when a strong earthquake shook the cities of Ghelice and Bura in Ancient Greece. Some writings from that time speak of “huge pillars of fire” that preceded the earthquake. Nothing more is said, but it matches later descriptions.

After this, many earthquakes occurred, during which they talked about lights in the sky. For example, in great Lisbon earthquakesince 1755, or since Chinese city Tangshanin 1976.

For a long time it was believed that these were almost legends. There were people who swore they saw earthquake lights, but they had no proof. However, with the arrival surveillance cameras and recordings of this Cell phonesthey could be immortalized mysterious luminous phenomena. Videos of earthquake lights were obtained in Honduras and Italy in 2009, in Japan in 2011, in Mexico in 2017 and 2021, and in many other places.

This finally got scientists interested in them and began to formulate hypotheses. But at the moment, none of them have been fully demonstrated.

Hypotheses that have not yet been confirmed

The few hypotheses that still exist point to an electrical phenomenon. For example, a geophysicist Friedman Freundfrom the SETI Institute, believes that this may be the effect of static electricity generated when continental plates collide.

This could be because the stones they conduct electricity on their surfacedue to the presence in its atoms of something known as electron holes. These are ionic imperfections of oxygen atoms in which holes are formed with the same charge, but opposite to the charge of the electron. That is, instead of a negative charge, it is positive. In the open air, these holes would line the surface, facilitating the conduction of electrical charges generated when the rocks collide. This can only happen with certain materials such as igneous or metamorphic rocksconsequently, earthquake lights are not always visible.

However, other scientists, such as physicist Karen Daniels of the University of North Carolina, against this hypothesis. Their opposition is based on the fact that the collision of stones could never lead to a large separation of charges. You can see what it took for our ancestors to ignite that first spark.

There are also researchers pointing to a coincidence. The lights can appear for other reasons, and if there is an earthquake afterwards, they are related. But it is necessary to continue the investigation, because they could much needed predictive value. Perhaps some of the victims of the Moroccan earthquake or others in whom this curious phenomenon was noticed could be saved. Any possible help to avoid these misfortunes should be explored. There will be time to give it up.

Source: Hiper Textual

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