Mysterious blue lights flashed across the night sky during a powerful earthquake that rattled Mexico City and nearby cities on Tuesday.

The magnitude 7.0 earthquake that struck Mexico on Tuesday evening left at least one person dead but did not appear to cause widespread destruction.

According to Forbes, videos shared online show that while the buildings were shaking in Acapulco, mysterious blue lights flashed across the night sky.

Another video on social media shows that while residents tried to keep their balance outside an apartment building in Mexico City, blue, white, and pink lights burst brilliantly in the sky.

Dozens of videos of the phenomenon quickly spread on social media. Netizens and even some news sites labeled the mysterious blue lights as "Earthquake Lights" or UFOs.

Some netizens started using the hashtag "Apocalipsis," Spanish for Apocalypse, the biblical term that denotes the end of the world.

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Speculations About the Mysterious Blue Lights in Mexico

The Earthquake Lights, also known as EQLs, are supposedly luminous phenomena observed before, during, or after a strong earthquake. 

The EQLs were usually described as short-lasting lights, like flashes, glowing clouds, and orbs. They could also be even "flames coming from the ground." 

Despite its numerous appearances in the past, its anecdotal accounts, tales existed, and most seismologists did not take accounts of EQLs very seriously. 

In 1973, Japanese geologist Yutaka Yasui provided some photographic evidence showing glowing red and blue clouds in the sky above the city of Matsushiro during a series of earthquakes in 1965 and 1967.

However, the accuracy of the said photos of the Japanese geologist is disputed, and until today there's still no verified physical evidence of EQLs exists.

Also, the alleged appearance of EQLs in the case of the earthquake in Mexico is considered simple by other scientists because it was only regarded as bursts of light on the ground after electric shorts and exploding infrastructure in the city's streets.

Also, the strange glowing sky is caused by reflections on the clouds. Experts said the same thing happened already in 2017 when the strongest earthquake in decades hit the city of Mexico. 

According to Friedemann Freund of NASA's Ames Research Center, these phenomena are well-documented because many security cameras are running day and night. Freund said the EQLs are electric discharges that come out of the ground and can rise up to 200 meters in the air. 

Freund explained that when igneous or metamorphic rocks are under stress, molecular bonds break and release ionized oxygen that travels through the rock.

Freund noted that the faster the rocks stretch, the more of these positive-charge carriers were released. Experts said some ions can create charged layers at or just below the surface, generating localized electric fields, and the strongest fields cause brief bursts of visible light.

Freund noted that defects in the mineral formation mean that rocks can even act as semiconductors that could explode as a flash of light when hit by seismic waves.

The Crushed Quartz Possibility

EQLs could also be a manifestation of "triboluminescence" or a light released when chemical bonds are broken through scratching, rubbing, or crushing.

In a similar manner, squeezing quartz also pushes surface ions out of position, generating a tiny electric current. NewScientist reported that there's a possibility that the same procedures could create EQLs when faults move and crush rocks together, given that quartz is one of the most common minerals in Earth's crust. 

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Written by: Jess Smith

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