On Tuesday, Sept. 7, Mexico endured a tumultuous 7.0 magnitude earthquake. As cars were overturned, families struggled to locate their loved ones and trees were toppled over, explosive blue lights could be seen flooding the night sky. And while it effectively made for a mind-blowing natural light show, the chaos led many locals to believe the world was actually coming to an end.
There are plenty of scientific theories that might explain the flashing blue lights, but luckily, it doesn't seem as though the world is actually ending — we may have a few more years under our belt, especially if countries actually stick to the Paris Climate Agreement. That said, there are many explanations for this unusual phenomenon.
Mexico was inundated with flashing blue lights amidst a massive earthquake.
As previously mentioned, those living along Mexico's Pacific Coast, Mexico City, and the southwestern state of Guerrero were completely slammed by a severe earthquake early last week. And amidst the chaos, the sky was mysteriously lit up with flashing blue lights. It was certainly a sight to see, based on social media posts from people who witnessed it in-person. Some used the phrase "apocalipsis" to mean they believed the end of the world was truly here.
With that in mind, if you weren't in Mexico to see the flashing blue lights for yourself, check out some of the footage that people captured from that wild night — it's truly a sight to see.
What caused the flashing blue lights during the earthquake in Mexico?
As previously mentioned, scientists have a handful of theories that may explain the celestial sensation. According to VICE, flashing lights support a popular ancient theory called EQL, or earthquake lights, which have been recorded for hundreds of years. Others believe it may have occurred due to Earth's magnetic field being disrupted by tectonic stress, and some think it was due to something called the piezoelectric effect, which takes place when quartz produces electricity under stress.
According to NPR, there are a handful of experts who attribute the natural light show to rocks along the earth's crust rubbing against each other. Supposedly, this type of deep-seated friction releases energy into the atmosphere, causing bright, electric lights to flash near the earth's surface. Some, on the other hand, think the answer is far more simple: the lights were merely power flashes from electric wires smashing into other power lines, trees, or other large structures.
USGS earthquake expert Austin Elliot weighed in via NPR.
"If there were visible natural electrical phenomenon going on, that would have been difficult to discern alongside the bright power flashes from the electrical grid," Elliot explained.
This may have simply been a result of human-made power lines, it could have been a sign of the rapture, or it could have been a natural result of an earthquake. Either way, though, it seems as though we have at least a few more decades on this wild planet.