Lights can be seen in the sky before the devastating earthquake that struck Morocco. This phenomenon has actually occurred before and during earthquakes in the past.
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X/@Eyaaaad/@iamAkramPRO – An earthquake strikes Morocco.
The basics in a nutshell
- Before the violent earthquake in Morocco, different lights could be seen in the sky.
- This phenomenon has been observed in many earthquakes and for a long time.
- Scientists have not yet reached a consensus on the cause of the earthquake lights.
Last Friday, Morocco suffered an earthquake measuring 6.8 on the Richter scale. At least 2,946 people were killed and 5,674 injured. There are still fears that the numbers will increase.
Footage spread on social media showing strange lights in the sky just before the earthquake occurred. So-called earthquake lights are not a new phenomenon, but have been documented for centuries.
However, there is still no scientific consensus on the causes of lights. There are even doubts about the idea of its connection to earthquakes.
But it is definitely real, as former geophysicist John Deere confirms to CNN. The lights observed over Morocco will be reminiscent of those seen during the 2007 Peruvian earthquake.
Thanks to modern technology and surveillance cameras on homes or even in cars, it is now also possible to see the lights retroactively. Because they occur relatively unexpectedly, like earthquakes, scientific investigation is difficult.
Different shapes of lights during earthquakes
According to research in which Deer participated, earthquake lights can take different forms. They appear at one time as lightning, and at another time as a glowing streak in the atmosphere. As also observed in Morocco, they can also be spherical.
The researchers found that about 80 percent of the earthquake lighting incidents they examined occurred during earthquakes of magnitude five or greater. It was visible up to 600 kilometers from the epicenter.
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Particularly strong earthquakes are likely to occur along or near places where tectonic plates meet. However, most of the lights were observed during earthquakes that occurred within tectonic plates rather than at their boundaries.
In addition, the lights were more likely to be seen near places where the Earth’s crust was breaking up. That is, where a long low area appeared between two raised masses of land.
Science is a mystery
The question of what causes earthquake lights has been bothering researchers for a long time. There is no consensus, but different theories exist.
One of them: It is said that some defects or impurities in rock crystals break down immediately when subjected to mechanical stress and generate electricity. Other theories point to static electricity, which is formed by the breaking of rocks, or the release of radon gas as a catalyst.
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