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Aleya (or marsh ghost-light) is the name given to an unexplained strange light phenomena occurring over the marshes as observed by Bengalis, especially the fishermen of West Bengal and Bangladesh. This marsh light (Will-o’-the-wisp) often look like a flying, glowing orb of fire. These confuse the fishermen to make them lose their bearings, and may even lead them to drown…

The Aleya Ghost Lights

If you happen to travel to the swamps of Bengal, you might encounter a creepy, unexplainable pheneomenon – The Aleya Ghost Lights. These are mysterious lights that have been known to lure one to his doom. The swamps and marshes of Bengal have long been haunted by them, floating around in the darkness.

The Aleya Ghost Lights are a member of the eerie global family of ghost lights, also known as will-o’-the-wisps. They’re flying, glowing orbs that float above the marshland and lure unwary travelers in the distance.

Local communities in the region believe that these strange hovering marsh-lights are in fact ghost-lights representing the ghosts of fisherman who died fishing. Sometimes they confuse the fishermen, and sometimes they help them avoid future dangers.

Aleya Ghost Lights
Quadronet_Webdesign / Pixabay

According to local lore, they’re the souls of fishermen who died accidentally in the area, and anyone who is stupid or careless enough to approach them either dies or becomes irrevocably insane.

Such kind of lights have been witnessed in other parts of the world as well. For instance, in Latvia, Estonia, Lithuania, Finland etc. it is believed that these lights actually mark locations of hidden treasures.

In countries like Latvia, Estonia, Lithuania, Finland etc. these lights are associated with the folklore of hidden treasure. It is widely believed in these countries that these lights actually mark locations of hidden treasures.

Aleya Ghost Lights
Bluesnap / Pixabay

In America, these lights are usually associated with ghosts of railroad tracks and roadside workers who were killed on duty because of an accident.Other stories associate the lights with the spirits of stillborn and unbaptized children who constantly travel between hell and heaven.

Sweden has a separate story. According to Swedish folklore, the lights are spirits of unbaptized people who lead the travelers to waters hoping to get baptized.Welsh folklore states that the lights are nothing but lanterns carried by small goblin-like fairy known for mischievously misleading travelers out of no good reason.

In Australia, these lights are known as Min Min lights and are more frequently sighted in Channel Country region.In Australian folklore, these lights are said to be either approaching travelers directly or following them just to disappear when the tensed travelers fired at them. However, they reappear and start following!

Aleya Ghost Lights
Otogidemon / Pixabay

People in Uruguay and Argentina call these lights luz mala or the evil lights. According to them, these lights are actually very shiny light orbs that float only a few inches above the ground.As far as scientific explanations are concerned, several attempts have been made to provide a proper explanation.

In 1776, Alessandro Volta ended up discovering methane. According to Volta, a natural electrical phenomenon such as lightning interacts with the marsh gas to create the lights (referred to as ignis fatuus.) Volta’s explanation was however rejected on the grounds that the lights actually receded when approached or followed when someone receded. The lights stayed still when a person stayed still.

PrinceCz / Pixabay

A counter explanation to the weird motion of the lights was provided by Major Louis Blesson in 1832. According to him, the lights receded when approached simply because when a person moves, the flammable gas disperses and moves away.Several modern explanations have popped up about the Aleya Ghost Lights.

For instance, Alan A Mills – a geologist from Great Britain said that these were pre-combustion halos often produced on some compounds are heated just below the ignition point. This pre-combustion halo is nothing but cold flame that has been found to occur in many hydrocarbons like waxes, acids, oils, methane, aldehydes and alcohol.

Professors Persinger and Derr proposed in 1993 that the lights were an outcome of geological activities. They proposed that the lights were piezoelectrically produced due to tectonic strains. 

Aleya Ghost Lights
GG-graphics / Pixabay

According to them, when faults move because of the strains, the rocks are heated up and the water is vaporized.Arsenic, silicon or quartz (piezoelectric) found in rocks generate electricity when the faults moved.

The electricity then moves up along with vaporized water column and appear as lights. According to the professors, the lights therefore are seemingly intelligent with erratic and electrical appearance.

Alternate hypotheses: Some say that the lights are created by bio luminescent creatures like fireflies and honey fungus. Some claim that the barn owls are to be blamed for the Aleya Ghost Lights or Will-o’-the-Wisps. According to the barn owl theory, the white plumage of the owls reflect light from moon and produce the floating lights!

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