WATCH: Will-o'-The-Wisp AKA Ignis Fatuus...Spooky Swamp Gas Explained

WATCH: Will-o'-The-Wisp AKA Ignis Fatuus...Spooky Swamp Gas Explained

Nature

WATCH: Will-o'-The-Wisp AKA Ignis Fatuus...Spooky Swamp Gas Explained

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Halloween is right around the corner and it’s time for something spooky.

Will-o’-the wisp also known as Ignis Fatuus is a creepy phenomenon that dates back hundreds of years. Travelers would see inexplicable blue/green lights hovering over the swamps and meadows and marshes at night. These blue orbs have become the subject of folklore and tales all over the globe. Early European explanations include the following. The blue lights are malevolent beings/spirits, the souls of unbaptized babies, impish creatures, or the souls of those who escaped purgatory. Yes, this is super metal.

Well, as usual, science has to rain on the parade of the supernatural. Turns out this blue light could simply be combusting swamp gas. The decomposing vegetation at the bottom of the swamp can occasionally generate enough heat and oxygen through the metabolic process to produce methane and combust. When lit, methane burns with a blue flame.

Next time you are out near your favorite swamp, bog, or marsh at night, keep your eyes peeled.

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