In the small town of Marfa, Texas, in the southern United States, a strange legend has been circulating for hundreds of years. A maintenance worker was accidentally beheaded by a passing train while laying railroad tracks. The dead maintenance worker, unwilling to heart, would light a lantern at night and look for his head near the incident.
Although the ghost legend is not credible, there is really a natural phenomenon in this area that is difficult to explain.
Mysterious Marfa Lamp
About 16 kilometers east of Marfa Town, there is an observation deck. During the day there is sparsely populated, and occasionally only a few cars pass through the desert, but at night, a constant stream of tourists will come here and put on folding chairs. , Drinking coffee, waiting for the magical Marfa lights to appear.
Tourists who are lucky enough will be able to witness this wonder. A ball of light, about the size of a basketball, will suddenly appear above the desert, floating above 1.7 meters. When their brightness changes from bright to dim, they can remain completely still. But sometimes, several spheres of light swayed together, swimming around, and even merged together, or one split into several, gradually disappeared and reappeared.
At any time of any year, in any weather, these light balls can appear, and they can only be seen when night falls. Usually the light ball is white, yellow or orange, but sometimes people will see red or blue light ball.
In 1883, a local farmer first recorded the Marfa Lamp incident. In the following 100 years, there were countless records of it. Unlike the general folklore, the Malfa lamp is not just a legend. This natural phenomenon is real and can be observed. The city of Marfa even set up a special viewing platform for the endless stream of tourists. If you are lucky enough or stay patiently for a few nights, you will see the lights of Marfa!
So, where do these mysterious lights come from?
Some people use methane spontaneous combustion to explain this phenomenon. In the swampy area, there are often clusters of fire, floating in the air almost stationary. This is because after the organic matter in the area decays, methane will be released, and methane will spontaneously ignite with oxygen to produce fire.
But the Marfa area is a large desert, where does the methane come from? Some people believe that although there is no swamp in the Marfa area, there is a large amount of oil and natural gas in the area. These substances contain methane, which may have a ghost fire effect similar to that produced by swamp gas.
Others use ball lightning to explain this phenomenon. Spherical lightning is very bright and floats in the air. The color is mostly white, but it can also show yellow, orange or red. It looks very similar to Malfa lights.
Although these explanations are reasonable, scientists have neither detected methane nor captured any spherical lightning.
A mirage in the desert
In 2004, researchers from the University of Texas came to Marfa and spent four days investigating the cause of the mysterious lights. They used cameras to record, observe with telescopes, and track these mysterious lights. In the end, it was discovered that when a car passed by on the nearby Highway 67, mysterious lights appeared. Researchers can predict when and where the Malfa lights will appear based on the traffic flow on the road. When the experimenter parked the car near Highway 67, kept its headlights flashing, and then stood on the observation deck to watch, they could also find the position of the car parked, there will be light clusters.
However, if car lights are at work, how can they appear more than 1 meter high?
In fact, the Marfa lamp that people see is a peculiar mirage phenomenon-a mirage from the top.
When the bottom air is colder than the upper air, the density of the bottom air is high, and the density of the upper air is low. The reflected light from the front scene will be refracted from the dense air to the low density air, so the image of an object will appear on top of the actual object. Thereby forming a mirage on the spot. Such a sight is very easy to appear in the ocean. This is because in the summer, the upper air temperature is very high during the day, while the sea water temperature is relatively low, so the lower air near the sea surface is affected by the water temperature and will be colder. At this time, even if a ship is not in human’s sight, the light from the ship first passes through the dense atmosphere, gradually refracts into the low-density atmosphere, and reflects on the upper layer, and finally comes into our eyes. Therefore, we will see that the ship is much higher than the actual position, flying above the water.
The same reason can also explain the mystery of the Malfa lamp. The town of Marfa is located at an altitude of more than 1,400 meters. It has a desert climate. The average temperature difference between day and night is 22-28℃. As night approaches, the ground air will be colder than the upper air. The huge temperature gradient between the cold air and the warm air layer causes This kind of mirage makes the headlights seem to hover in the air.
However, the farmer who first reported the incident was reported in 1883, and the automobile was invented in 1886. How can this be explained?
Some scholars believe that such stories may be purely fabricated. Because this farmer once lived in Marfa and wrote his memoirs, but in his memoirs, he never mentioned his strange experience. It is hard to imagine that if it were the first time he recorded, he would not keep The second half is written.
In short, a lot of evidence shows that before the emergence of the car highway in the area, the story about the mysterious lights of Marfa was fabricated.
US Malfa reproduction light group
, according to ABC’s WFAA Channel recently reported that, in order to explore the mystery of light group of Malfa, a teacher Verify program the channel reporter David Shu Cite (Richardson, Texas and Erica Wiggins (Er-ica Wiggins) Flew together and transferred to the remote town of Marfa for 3 hours by car. In Wiggins once said that she had seen the Marfa light group once.
For this kind of light group, people have always Unable to find the exact reason. A natural environment information website MNN (Mother Nature Network) quoted a local street sign description in April 2015: “The area facing Chianti between Marfa and Paisano Pass, On clear nights, there will often be Marfa mysterious light clusters. These light clusters may change colors, swim around, split into several, merge together,
disappear or reappear. ” Reporter Schutzter interviewed an old local woman. Rosemary Cox. She lived in Marfa all her life, and her grandfather once reported that he saw this mysterious light cluster.
Cox said that the Malfa light cluster was at least not produced by ordinary lights because it appeared shiny The place of the light group is about 38 kilometers away from the observer, and it is impossible to see the car lights.
Schutzter observed the mysterious light group in the air and understood that the mysterious light group cannot be explained by the car lights. He said: “When we learn about the mountain roads When all the locations are so far away, I feel more and more mysterious and unpredictable.”
A retired aerospace engineer, Jims Bunell, participated in the analysis of the survey through the Internet. He has been studying the Marfa Light Group for more than ten years. , And author of books analyzing this mysterious phenomenon.
Bunell believes that most light groups can be explained by science, such as car lights. But he is also in his book “Search for Marfa Light Groups” (collecting some unexplainable Light group, and he pointed out: “We have observed some abnormal examples of unexplainable and definitely not car lights. This makes me more interested in exploring these phenomena.”
Bunell explained to Schutzter on Skype: “These mysterious lights are bright for a while and dark for a while. Especially when the light balls appear for the first time, they will brighten for a while, then darken again, and move a distance to return. Original place. Most of these light clusters are plasma.”
At present, no matter what the Marfa light cluster is explained by science, its origin cannot be fully explained. A local resident said in a video: “The real Marfa light group, as far as I know, is definitely not a car light. From the position where the light group appears, it can be seen that it is moving up and down, left and right, and constantly changing colors. Or merge or separate with each other, sometimes it can be seen to darken, disappear, and reappear. This is the Malfa light group.”