24 Interesting Aleya Ghost Lights Facts

by Sankalan Baidya
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How good is your appetite for the “paranormal”? If it is a subject that you find intriguing, this post on Aleya Ghost Lights facts is definitely going to grab your attention.

Imagine a shimmering display of floating lights right in front of you while you struggle to find your way back to a populated area through the darkness of eerie swamps and marshes!

Isn’t that thrilling or perhaps spine chilling? Well, this isn’t really a buildup of a plot for a scary movie but is rather something that has been actually haunting people of Bengal for ages.

So, without wasting time any further, let us learn 20 interesting facts about the Ghost Lights and understand the local stories and scientific explanations (if any) about these haunting lights.

Interesting Aleya Ghost Lights Facts: 1-6

1. The swamps and marshes of Bengal have long been haunted by mysterious lights floating around in the darkness. These lights are known as the Aleya Ghost Lights.

2. Despite their typical Bengali name, these ghost lights are not really limited to Bengal. They have been spotted in several other places like the UK, Finland, Estonia, Latvia and others. Similar lights have been spotted in North America, South America and Australia.

3. In Bengal, the associated folklore says that the lights are nothing but the spirits of dead fishermen, who lost their way in those swamps and eventually died.

4. In Bengal, it is said that whoever sees and follows those lights end up meeting their eminent doom.

5. Some say that people don’t really die when they follow the lights but they do become insane and never recover.

6. As mentioned before, the Aleya Ghost Lights are not isolated events. They are actually a part of global occurrences. Similar lights that have been spotted in different parts of the world are known as will-o’-the-wisp.

Interesting Aleya Ghost Lights Facts: 7-12

7. Jack-o’-lantern, hinkypunk, hobby lantern and friar’s lantern are several other names for these mysterious lights.

8. In countries like Latvia, Estonia, Lithuania, Finland etc. these lights are associated with the folklore of hidden treasure. It is widely believed in these countries that these lights actually mark locations of hidden treasures.

9. In America, these lights are usually associated with ghosts of railroad tracks and roadside workers who were killed on duty because of an accident.

10. Other stories associate the lights with the spirits of stillborn and unbaptized children who constantly travel between hell and heaven.

11. Sweden has a separate story. According to Swedish folklore, the lights are spirits of unbaptized people who lead the travelers to waters hoping to get baptized.

12. Welsh folklore states that the lights are nothing but lanterns carried by small goblin-like fairy known for mischievously misleading travelers out of no good reason.

Interesting Aleya Ghost Lights Facts: 13-18

13. In Australia, these lights are known as Min Min lights and are more frequently sighted in Channel Country region.

14. In Australian folklore, these lights are said to be either approaching travelers directly or following them just to disappear when the tensed travelers fired at them. However, they reappear and start following!

15. People in Uruguay and Argentina call these lights luz mala or the evil lights. According to them, these lights are actually very shiny light orbs that float only a few inches above the ground.

16. As far as scientific explanations are concerned, several attempts have been made to provide a proper explanation. In 1776, Alessandro Volta ended up discovering methane. According to Volta, a natural electrical phenomenon such as lightning interacts with the marsh gas to create the lights (referred to as ignis fatuus.)

17. Volta’s explanation was however rejected on the grounds that the lights actually receded when approached or followed when someone receded. The lights stayed still when a person stayed still.

18. A counter explanation to the weird motion of the lights was provided by Major Louis Blesson in 1832. According to him, the lights receded when approached simply because when a person moves, the flammable gas disperses and moves away.

Interesting Aleya Ghost Lights Facts: 19-24

19. Several modern explanations have popped up about the Aleya Ghost Lights. For instance, Alan A Mills – a geologist from Great Britain said that these were pre-combustion halos often produced on some compounds are heated just below the ignition point. This pre-combustion halo is nothing but cold flame that has been found to occur in many hydrocarbons like waxes, acids, oils, methane, aldehydes and alcohol.

20. Professors Persinger and Derr proposed in 1993 that the lights were an outcome of geological activities. They proposed that the lights were piezoelectrically produced due to tectonic strains.

21. According to them, when faults move because of the strains, the rocks are heated up and the water is vaporized.

22. Arsenic, silicon or quartz (piezoelectric) found in rocks generate electricity when the faults moved.

23. The electricity then moves up along with vaporized water column and appear as lights. According to the professors, the lights therefore are seemingly intelligent with erratic and electrical appearance.

24. Alternate hypotheses: Some say that the lights are created by bioluminescent creatures like fireflies and honey fungus. Some claim that the barn owls are to be blamed for the Aleya Ghost Lights or Will-o’-the-Wisps. According to the barn owl theory, the white plumage of the owls reflect light from moon and produce the floating lights!

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