Vertical Lights Appear In Night Sky Over Coastal Japanese Town

May 20, 2024

Last week, a mesmerizing display of nine light pillars appeared in the night sky above the coastal town of Daisen in Tottori Prefecture, Japan.

The sight was captured by a local named Masashi and posted to X (formerly Twitter) with the caption, "Around 22:00 today, I discovered a streak of light above Mikaya Port in Daisen Town, Tottori."

The post quickly went viral, amassing over 12 million views and sparking a flurry of comments.

While some speculated about apocalyptic omens or alien invasions, the truth behind these light pillars is much more down-to-earth, yet equally captivating.

This phenomenon, known locally as "Isaribi Kochu" or 'fish-attracting light pillars,' is a spectacular interplay of natural and human-made elements. Fishermen in Japan commonly use lights on their boats, called "isaribi," to lure fish to the surface. These lights are essential for a bountiful catch, but under the right conditions, they can create an awe-inspiring visual effect.

9 pillars of light Japan
Credit: @totoro8201 on X

As explained by Japan Today, when the overnight temperatures drop low enough, ice crystals can form in the atmosphere above the ships. These crystals, when large enough and free from precipitation, reflect the light from the fishermen's boats.

The result is a series of bright, vertical light pillars that can be seen from the shore, creating an ethereal and surreal display in the night sky.

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