View the 2 videos regarding a phenomenon, known as “Earthquake lights”. Which have been known to happen at times of earthquakes & recorded through out history, but never recorded (visually) until the earthquake in Sichuan last week. Bizarre colorful (luminous/glowing) cloud phenomenon in the sky was observed about 30 mins before the May 12, 2008 Sichuan earthquake took place. This was recorded in Tianshui, Gansu province ~450kmnortheast of epicenter, by someone using a cell phone.

These clouds seemed to be glowing or somewhat luminous and seemed to resemble some characteristics of the Auroras. I guess they were formed by some kind of charged particles released from the powerful seismic events below. Well, I am no expert anyways. See if any scientists are willing to give a full explanation.

Second video here.

From Wikipedia: “The precise mechanism, if such a phenomenon exists—as opposed to being coincidence with aurora or mistaken recall after a traumatic event such as an earthquake—is unknown. One theory suggests that earthquake lights are a form of plasma discharge caused by the release of gases from within the Earth and are electrically charged in the air.”

  1. gtriamy says:

    Of the websites i’ve seen posting this topic it seems that this is NOT “earthquake lights”, but just a simple rainbow. “Earthquake lights” are, as I understand it, usually flashes of light due to releases of gas from caves or other such underground storage areas.

    Just my opinion.

  2. I am no geology expert either, but what do clouds have to do with earthquakes, especially when they are 450 kilometers away from the epicenter??? I think we may need to fire up the BS Meter for this story.

  3. MotaMan says:

    *Completely Nutty Conspiracy Theory Warning*

    I’ve heard of this thing called HAARP based on patents sold to US military by Tesla.

  4. Dugger says:

    I have to agree with the above comments.

    This appears to me to be a form of an iridescent cloud formed by ice in high altitude clouds.

    I have seen these clouds many times (2 dozen or more) in my life and not once was there an earthquake.

    I would suggest there is a better explanation.

    More on these clouds can be found here:

  5. lanternut says:

    I live in Utah and you see a lot of those above the Great Salt Lake caused by light reflecting though moisture the clouds.

  6. Rick says:

    I’m not an expert, well not in earthquakes…

    But, I’m pretty sure this is just because Desmond turned the fail-safe key.

  7. chuck says:

    I thought that earthquakes were caused by global warming. The consensus is in, there can be no argument.

  8. RBG says:

    4 Duggar has it correct. It is no mere coincidence that this “mysterious colored gas cloud” just happens to exhibit the exact order of colors characteristic of light travelling through a prism, such as rain droplets or in this case more likely ice crystals. Also note from the dark background that the sun is also characteristically low.


  9. noname says:

    Here’s me chance to find a pot of gold at the rainbow’s end.

  10. dandylion_13 says:

    Please, please don’t continue spreading this misinformation! This has has nothing to do with earthquakes and is pure coincidence that it happened when it did. It’s just sunlight hitting a particular type of cloud in just the right way. I’ve seen these myself in Ontario and India. They’re very beautiful and have nothing to do with geology. Please get you facts straight before reposting this sort of thing.

  11. edwinrogers says:

    #11. thank you, for being correct, and for ruining a perfectly good unmoderated outpouring of idiocy.

  12. noname says:

    # 12 edwinrogers is right,

    As one of those unmoderated idiots, I decry # 11 dandylion_13 attempt to correct us. Why dare you Sir/mam not Praise our Folly?

  13. Peter iNova says:

    What part of Cell Phone With A 12:1 Smooth Zoom doesn’t compute?

    I have shot similar phenomena all around the world. High wispy ice refracts light with a rough rainbow effect.

    Pretty, but not related to earthquakes.

    I really am surprised that you didn’t catch the cell phone thing.

  14. hwo says:

    If these clouds are spotted again before another big earthquake, then it would tell us something. How about unknown particles that travel from where the rock strata is about to release its tension, and interact with the atmosphere, bending the light in a rainbow fashion. yea

  15. highaman says:

    Earthquakes are not caused by global warming, it’s George W. Bush’s fault!

    Seriously, what kinda particle would travel to such a high place and only affects cirrus clouds at 23k ft? One theory that COULD make more sense is the water molecule’s polarity, the same that makes it boils in the microwave oven. Water is sensible to magnetic field, duh!

  16. Pickle Monster says:

    Well, it needs to be resolved whether this is indeed some kind of atmospheric/geomagnetic phenomenon. If there were a magnetometer readout along with the video footage (and I’d bet it would have to be a pretty sensitive one), it would be more credible, perhaps.

    But even then, photos and video by themselves just don’t cut it for evidence nowadays.

    (did they ever, really?)


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