Mysteries of the Unexplained

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Aurora Borealis

January 1st, 2009 by MotU Overseer

     One of the more known and awe inspiring mysteries of this world is that of the Aurora Borealis. While science has prevailed and analyized the matter so that it is understood in a factual manner, the myths and views of the past still hold tight to their roots. Various cultures around the globe developed their own persceptions of what these blends of celestial colors mean.
     On the North American continent, there exists the Inuit people. These natives of the land took deep interest in the recurring atmospheric display and created stories of what they actually are. They had three main ideas, all involving spirits. The first was that the walls of light were the spirits of yet unborn children, the second that it was the spirits of ancestors long since past, and the third was that it was merely the souls of the dead at play in a game similar to modern day football.
     The Vikings of the Scandinavian peninsula developed another view. The conquering people that they were, they believed the presence of these lights was a sign of war to come. There are even other cases which state that it is a sign of bad weather, a sign of good weather, and simply a way to predict the weather, either good or bad. While these are not consistant, they are found in different groups of people, and so this is somewhat understandable.
     The questing by science for a explanation of the lights began long before current instruments and thought patterns existed. The ancient Greeks, Aristotle and Plato among others, offered up concepts of the true nature of the phenomena. This led to the thoughts that it was steam rising from the earth as the sun went down and grew closer to it and that it dealt with light. While untrue, the fact that light and the sun were a part of the explanation made this an important step. Later on other greats of the times would give their views. This would eventually lead to the involvement of magnetic fields in the theory. In the mid-1900's, the understanding was completed. Photons, magnetic fields of te earth, and the sun with its solar flares, were combined into one general consensus. It was then known that the transient colors that appeared in the skies as streaks, clouds, and even the commonly liked curtain of colors, was the result of electrons jumping through their various energy levels.
     This eliminated the need for such stories and beliefs, and yet many still enjoy the thought that this may still be. There is an allure of the unknown, of the lack of explanation, of the freedom of interperation, that draws countless numbers to the best viewing locations on the plaet to stand and gaze at the natural light show.