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UncleAcus
Post  Post subject: Marsh Lights  |  Posted: Tue Jan 10, 2017 10:32 pm

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I recently read an Australian author's description of a fictional monster. It compared his eyes to Marsh lights.

I have seen pictures online and looked at some methane ignitions in videos but this does not really seem like something a natural observer would come across casually.

What is a Marsh Light?


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PhDemon
Post  Post subject: Re: Marsh Lights  |  Posted: Tue Jan 10, 2017 10:44 pm

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I think the answer to your question is "nobody knows" although there are some plausible hypotheses on this page https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Will-o%27-the-wisp

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Pong
Post  Post subject: Re: Marsh Lights  |  Posted: Mon Feb 06, 2017 8:14 am
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Historic accounts too widespread, innocent, and sometimes credibly investigated, to dismiss. Same goes for foxfire, apparently once a common sight. Why are modern sightings rare to the point of incredulity?

I speculate artificial lighting (well, the ubiquity of *any* lighting) has made us blind to them. Similar to common sentiment that shooting star is a rare sighting. We rarely find ourselves outdoors with nothing to see but shades of darkness.


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Lynx_Fox
Post  Post subject: Re: Marsh Lights  |  Posted: Mon Feb 06, 2017 4:43 pm

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Pong wrote:
Historic accounts too widespread, innocent, and sometimes credibly investigated, to dismiss.
I agree. Though I'd guess it's methane related.



Quote:
Same goes for foxfire, apparently once a common sight. Why are modern sightings rare to the point of incredulity?

You talking the same foxfire as is common in the Southern US? If so it's still very common on rotted logs etc.

Quote:
I speculate artificial lighting (well, the ubiquity of *any* lighting) has made us blind to them. Similar to common sentiment that shooting star is a rare sighting. We rarely find ourselves outdoors with nothing to see but shades of darkness.

I completely agree. Few people seem to take the time to let their eyes adjust to the dark, or live in places where there's only natural lighting. Our self-imposed domestication continues (which makes me sad). Getting back to your firefox, I used to live near a large park and take my son on long walks at night teaching him to move slow and our flashlights at the bottom of our day packs--of course, being Kentucky, we'd see all sorts of bioluminescent life after 20 minutes or so. We'd occasionally run into others with flash lights--they were missing so much. I still love to hike at night--though being older, and where I life now being full of cliff sides, it's usually with good moon illumination.


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DrKrettin
Post  Post subject: Re: Marsh Lights  |  Posted: Mon Feb 06, 2017 4:48 pm
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Lynx_Fox wrote:
Few people seem to take the time to let their eyes adjust to the dark, or live in places where there's only natural lighting. Our self-imposed domestication continues (which makes me sad).


Yes, indeed. It is hardly surprising that the earliest calendars were always based primarily on the year, but then on the moon, because the phase of the moon was critical for knowing what freedom you had to move about at night if you had to.


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Pong
Post  Post subject: Re: Marsh Lights  |  Posted: Mon Feb 06, 2017 10:39 pm
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Lynx_Fox wrote:
You talking the same foxfire as is common in the Southern US? If so it's still very common on rotted logs etc.

Sweet. I searched it for sale... maybe same folk who export novelty flytraps, I hoped. Imagine a nightlight terrarium. No luck.

BUT, according to Wikipedia the very widespread Armillarias are also bioluminescent, just not in their fruit bodies. That includes A. mellea, so in theory any Pacific Northwest hiker should expose it by crunching rotten conifer logs.

I've often wondered to what extent spores piggyback on woodlice. It would be a great symbiosis. Perhaps the luminescent fungi are attracting nocturnal woodlice? If both true, then we might be able to devise an irresistible luminescent lure, similar to a mosquito trap, to extend the lifespan of outdoor wood structures. I'm thinking a little solar powered device with the usual poison bait inside. Hang it on your wooden fence to buy a few extra years.



I've sometimes ignited the (methane) bubbles of ponds, hoping for a sustained flame. Conjuring the fairy. But POOF mine die instantly. Apparently there's more to real marsh-lights than simple methane combustion. A big clue is that they self-ignite and burn very slowly. How the heck?!


DrKrettin, your statement that for purely practical reasons people structured life - and therefore calendars - around moonlight, sounds good to me. It beats the wide-eyed mysticism explanation.


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