Why are lights seen during earthquakes? This says science

Everyone happens earthquake Videos on social networks tend to be spread by strange lights appearing in the sky minutes before the earthquake. They are also usually seen moments after earthquakes. It is as common as “earthquake lights” Here we explain what they are.

Perhaps the moment these earthquake videos went viral before the September 19, 2017, earthquake, when recordings of these lights flooded Twitter and Facebook, always accompanied by crazy theories.

In fact, contrary to what is read on networks, these spotlights have nothing to do with science fiction or conspiracy theories, and are rather a matter of geology.

earthquake lights

The flashes we see in the sky are a phenomenon that has been studied for centuries, and is known asearthquake lights(Earthquake Light, or EQL, for its English acronym), lights in the sky seen in a similar way, but on a smaller scale, than the aurora borealis.

The most plausible theory to explain this phenomenon was formulated by Friedmann Freund, a NASA scientist, who discovered that these lights arise from the significant increase in electric charge in the Earth when the Earth’s crust moves.

This is how Freund explains in one of his writings scientific articles:

“When the stones of the Earth’s crust grow and bend under the action of tectonic forces, latent electromagnetic charges are released and lead to a remarkable variety of phenomena, which are part of the folklore associated with them in different parts of the world. These phenomena range from anomalous electrical and magnetic signals, to earthquake lights that The hilltops light up, and strange behaviors are generated in the animals. […] All for one reason: to awaken and spread charges naturally lurking in the deepest rocks on Earth. “

What are they?

If we explain it in a simple way, the lights in the sky are generated by landslides near the geological faults of the Earth that produce earthquakes, generating an unusual electric charge due to the enormous friction.

The rocks that make up geological faults act as conductors of electricity, which is then released in this amazing way into something known as triboluminiscencia.

Just because they are the product of friction from large geological faults, lights in the sky usually appear before and after a strong earthquake.

So, in some cases, they can help us know when a strong earthquake is approaching minutes before it happens, and give us time to move to safety.

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