The Mysterious Min Min Lights of Outback Australia
What Are the Min Min Lights?
Will we ever solve the mystery of the Min Min Lights of Outback Australia? For many thousands of years, man has been gazing up into the night sky, entranced by shooting stars and mysterious lights. Many cultures have developed myths and legends about the stars, and there is intense speculation to this day as to whether any of those distant orbs could be circled by a planet that is capable of sustaining life. Some of the lights that we see in the darkness of the night sky, however, are more mysterious than others. In the remote emptiness of the Australian Outback, there is an occasional sighting of a magical phenomenon known as the Min Min Lights.
They are reported by witnesses as glowing spheres in the night sky that seem to have the ability to move around, follow people, disappear and then reappear. Descriptions and reports of what they look like do vary, but they have mainly been described as fuzzy balls of light that seem to hover just over the horizon.
Their colour is usually reported as being white, although there have been sightings where they change colour from white to red to green and then back again to white. Some observers have seen Min Min Lights that were so bright that the ground around them was lit up and objects in the immediate vicinity cast a shadow, but other reporters say that the spheres of light were dim.
Boulia: The Epicenter of the Min Min Lights
Where Can You See the Min Min Lights?
They have been sighted in the night skies of Australia from as far south as Brewarrina in western New South Wales to as far north as Boulia in northern Queensland’s Channel Country. The area surrounding Boulia is the epicentre for these sightings and one of the first recorded sightings was around 1912 when a stockman was riding near the the cemetery, in the vicinity of the Min Min Hotel which had just recently been burnt down.
The stockman saw a strange ball of glowing light rising from the cemetery, which frightened him so much that he raced his horse back to the town. The mysterious luminous ball followed him all the way until it disappeared as the stockman arrived in the outskirts of the town.
However, stories of the Min Min Lights can be found in Aboriginal myths that predate the European settlement of Australia, but some of the Aboriginal people feel that the sightings of the mysterious phenomenon have increased as Europeans have encroached further into the remote areas of the Outback. According to many eye-witness accounts, they do follow or approach people travelling at night.
Their sudden appearance has so unnerved some drivers that accidents have occurred and people have been hurt. Some witnesses have been so spooked by the Min Min lights that they have fired shots at them, but although sometimes they disappeared when fired upon, they then often reappeared later. Many of the people who have experienced the phenomenon report feeling as though the Min Min Lights are actually observing them. And a lot of those people who have witnessed them have had very strong reactions to their experience.
Even big, tough guys who have spent years in the Outback have panicked and shot at the lights when they saw them and started to scream and cry. Observers also seem to feel as though the lights have a form of intelligence and that they follow them around and even chase their vehicles when they try to drive away. Witnesses have said that the Min Min Lights approached them several times before finally retreating and other witnesses have reported that they kept pace with their moving vehicle.
Do You Believe In The Min Min Lights?
Are Min Min Lights Real?
Nowadays most people accept that the Min Min Lights do actually exist, although there is still a lot of debate about what causes the phenomenon. Many scientific explanations have been put forward and these include optical illusions, piezoelectrics and swarming luminescent animals. But equally there are many people who believe that they could be ghost lights, spirit orbs or UFO activity?
It has been suggested that they are caused by swarming insects that have become bioluminescent from being in contact with agents found in the local fungi. Another hypothesis is that the Min Min Lights are actually a species of owl that has its own bioluminescent properties, and is seen flying through the night sky.
Some experts believe that they are caused by known geophysical phenomena, such as piezoelectrics, although in many cases sightings are from geographical areas that are not favourable for such phenomena. Piezoelectricity is the ability of certain materials, including crystals, bone and certain ceramics to generate an electric field or electric potential in response to applied mechanical stress. If the material is not short-circuited, the applied stress induces a voltage across the material.
Another theory is that they are the result of an optical illusion known as a Fata Morgana, which causes remote lights or objects to seem as if they are closer than they really are and distorts the lights or objects into a less recognisable form. A Fata Morgana or mirage is caused by rapid changes in air temperature, when the air above is warmer than the air below, which is known as a temperature inversion as it does not follow the normal gradient of the atmosphere.
A Fata Morgana can only occur when light travels through multiple distinct levels of temperature. An Australian neuroscientist called Professor Jack Pettigrew now says that he can reproduce the Min Min Lights as he has calculated that they are an inverted mirage of light sources that could possibly in reality be as much as several hundred kilometres away. Professor Pettigrew even staged an experiment one night to see if he could recreate the Min Min Lights phenomenon.
He picked a night where a cool evening had followed a hot day and there was very little breeze. Professor Pettigrew drove 10 kilometres over a slight slope and down into a watercourse, which below the normal line of sight of such a distant light. Subsequently, six witnesses saw the lights of the car float above the horizon.
So, What Do Think About the Min Min Lights?
So do you believe that the mysterious Min Min Lights of the remote Australian Outback are a natural phenomenon that can be rationally explained by science? Or are they something entirely different? These haunting balls of light that dance against the velvet black of the night sky, following travellers, are they portents sent to warn us? Or are they ghost lights of ancient spirits who have returned to roam the night? Or even perhaps, extra-terrestrial craft or beings that have come to our earth to observe us and report back their findings to their homes on far-distant stars? I will leave you to decide.
- Boulia – Home of the Min Min Lights: http://www.ausemade.com.au/qld/destination/b/boulia/boulia-information.htm
- Boulia Shire Council: https://www.boulia.qld.gov.au/
- Min Min Lights: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Min_Min_light
- Fata Morgana: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fata_Morgana_(mirage)
- Chasing the Min Min Lights: https://skeptoid.com/episodes/4133
- Min Min Light - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Min_Min_light
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2010 CMHypno