The Mystery of Ball Lightning

We have all watched lightning bolts emerge from dark rain clouds; lightning looking like jagged streaks. But, there is a very rare weather phenomenon in which lightning appears in the shape of a sphere or a pear with fuzzy edges and is called ball lightning.

Although this strange type of lightning has been around for thousands of years, skeptics dismissed stories of such oddity lightning as fantasies until the 1960’s when scientists theorized why ball lightning could be a scientific possibility after some scientists had a ball lightning experience aboard an airplane. Skeptics still continued to disbelieve. Finally, only quite recently, did scientific proof confirm the existence of this circular lightning.

Meteorologists are still not exactly sure what causes ball lightning in our atmosphere, even though the electrical oddity is can be reproduced on various occasions in a lab by complex machines.

Released during a thunderstorm, from a cumulonimbus cloud (a dense towering vertical cloud associated with thunderstorms and atmospheric instability, produced from water vapor carried by upward air travel); those glowing orbs of lightning can be white, yellow, orange, red, or blue. Often shining with the same intensity of a  100 watt light bulb; the orbs are clearly visible in the daytime and typically range in size from a grapefruit, but also can be as tiny as the size of a pea, or even as large as 8 feet (2.4 meters) in diameter.

Military reports of Ball lightning often occur before, after or during thunder-storms.

The lightning spheres exhibit strange effects, on occasions, as hovering in the air, floating through walls or other solid objects without consequence or may melt or burn such things. At times, holes were made in walls and other solid objects as the lightning balls of fire came through. These electric fire balls move slowly, erratically, and leave smoke trials that produce spirals around them; then they disappear.

During World War 2, fighter pilots in armed planes have described seeing balls of fire flying by their aircraft; some of these accounts, but not all, seem to correspond to accounts regarding ball lightning.

When people have experienced such lightning circular forms; folks unfamiliar with modern science about such phenomenon; people thought quite a number of religious and occult reasons to account for them. Everything from God’s wrath, to attacks from the Devil or one or more of his demons (also called the “flames of Hell”), to strange; aerial thunderstorm energy creatures from outer space or another dimension.

Some of the old stories of lightning orbs talk of them, during thunderstorms, going down chimneys, moving through a house, and then passing out through a closed-door.

The orbs of lightning can last from a small number of seconds to several minutes, and one report from November 22, 1894 describes balls of (lightning) fire played tag for half an hour in Golden, Colorado, as described in an article in the Golden Globe newspaper.

Ball lightning – Wikipedia

There are quite a number technical explanations on the phenomenon of the production of ball lightning can be found referenced in the source material section used for this article. Perhaps the latest theory is that an analysis of one example of ball lightning contained silicon, iron and calcium which are the primary ingredients of dirt. It is suggested that when lightning strikes the ground the intense heat vaporizes the silicon dioxide in the dirt sending a shock-wave into the air. Carbon present will convert into pure silicon vapor and then the atmosphere oxygenate the hot ball of gas creating the eerie glow we call ball lightning.

Other explanations include hypothesis of the following things: an electrically charged solid-core model, microwave cavity, Soliton, hydrodynamic vortex ring antisymmetry, nanobattery, black hole, buoyant plasma, transcranical magnetic stimulation, spinning plasma toroid (ring), Rydberg matter concept, as well as other hypotheses.

In another review of the subject Dr. VanDevender,  member of the American Association for the Advancement of Science delivered a presentation on “Extreme Ball Lightening”, which is thought to be most intense variety. Ordinary Ball lightening differs from the extreme in the following ways:

• it glows in air;
• it originates from nothing visible;
• it lasts between 10 and 1200 seconds;
• it floats at about 1 meter/second;
• it is lethal or potentially lethal;
• it causes significant damage;
• it contains energy estimated at 100,000 to 1 billion Joules, far in excess of the energy density attributable to chemicals or electrostatics;
• it penetrates walls, glass and metal, generally without leaving a hole;
• it induces large currents but is in radial force equilibrium;
• it leaves black streaks on corpses without the spasm of electrocution;
• it can excavate tons of earth.

More information at

You can also make your own ball lightning as per information below:

Ball Lightning you can make

Other links of interest:


1 Response

  1. kobe shoes says:

    I wish to express appreciation to the writer for helping me understand this type of explaination as it pertains to UFO’s. Perhaps the article has identified possibilies as to what those mysterious lights in the sky may just be on occassion – natural phenomena. Of course doesn’t explain all UFO cases but brings us closer to consider eliminating what can be explained under the proper atmospheric circumstances. Thank again!

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