November 21st 2023.
Carol Vorderman recently took to X to share a stunning video of a 'subsun', a dazzling natural phenomenon captured at an Argentine ski resort by Gaby Chavez. Subsuns occur when the Sun's light is reflected off millions of tiny ice crystals in the atmosphere, creating an ethereal orb suspended in the air.
Due to turbulence in the atmosphere, the hexagonal crystals can be disturbed and wobble, giving the subsun a sci-fi look as if it was a portal to another dimension. One user even likened it to the Eye of Sauron from Lord of the Rings. However, subsuns are only visible from above, making it a great sight for skiers to look out for.
Throughout history, mysterious weather phenomena have been the cause of many supernatural or extraterrestrial sightings. These include 'superior mirages' which make boats on the horizon appear as if they are floating in midair and fata morgana which can warp distant objects and make them appear closer. Lenticular clouds have often been mistaken for UFOs, and light pillars, caused by light sources on the ground, have been the description of many UFO sightings.
Will-o-the-wisps, seen as small 'blue flames', are another example of mysterious sightings. These were once believed to be mischievous spirits or ghosts luring people to their deaths, but are, in fact, a flame-like phosphorescence caused by decaying plants. It just goes to show how easily the natural world can be mistaken for the supernatural!
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