A fiery red glow was spotted by a pilot on July 22 as he passed over clouds above that Atlantic Ocean, and images of the eerie scene were recently shared on Reddit with the hopes of unravelling the mystery.
Three images of the encounter sparked a commenting frenzy on the social media platform, as thousands flocked to the post to share their take on what was glowing below the clouds.
Some users said the incident has to mean the end of time, while other users compared it to the Netflix series Stranger Things.
‘Dustin’s trying to open up a portal to the upside down – It is literally a watergate,’ said a Redditor, referring to a scene from the show’s season four.
While many of the comments were outrageous, one suggested it could be large fishing boat using red lights to attract saury fish.
However, without closer inspection, the cause cannot be known for certain.
Pictured is an image snapped by the pilot on July 22. He said this is something he has never seen before
Saury fishing, traditionally found in the Pacific Ocean, uses massive LED lights on fishing boats to attract fish, allowing them to be easily scooped up in nets.
However, there is a type of Atlantic saury that is found from the Gulf of Saint Lawrence, Canada to Bermuda.
And the ships used to catch these fish sport hundreds of red lights around the perimeter.
Although LED is the preferred option for fishing boats, due to its its higher efficiency and lower weight, the fishing boat below could be using another lighting solution like high-intensity discharge (HID).
Some users said the incident has to mean the end of time, while other users compared it to the Netflix series Stranger Things (pictured)
While many of the comments about what the red glow could be were outrageous, one suggested it could be large fishing boat using red lights to attract saury fish
The intense glow from high up past the clouds suggests HID could have been in use, explaining how much light escaped upwards.
‘Maybe fishing vessels have never clustered so much to concentrate so much light? Three possible scenarios. 1. Fish populations down to small concentrations. 2. Chinese fishing boats have fished out the Pacific and are now factory fishing in the Atlantic. 3. Atlantic-based fishing boats have adopted China’s factory fishing strategy. None of these are good outcomes. Good luck to those fish,’ said one Redditor.
Another pilot had a similar encounter in 2014, when he and his co-pilot flew over glowing clouds south of the Russian peninsula Kamchatka during the flight of a Boeing 747-8 from Hong Kong to Anchorage, Alaska.
The pilot was traveling over the Atlantic Ocean when he saw the glow. Although many have speculations, the cause cannot be confirmed
Dutch pilot JPC van Heijst explained on PBase how, five hours into the ten-hour flight, they spotted an intense flash of light like a lightning bolt, directed vertically up in the distance.
This was then followed by a deep red and orange glow 20 minutes later.
And the experience left van Heijst somewhat perturbed, owing to the lack of an explanation for what happened.
There were no thunderstorms on their route or weather-radar, suggesting the lightning did not originate in a storm.
The glow was also a mystery; similar lights have been spotted from squid-fishing-boats, but van Heijst says this ‘would not make sense in this area’.
‘The closer we got, the more intense the glow became, illuminating the clouds and sky below us in a scary orange glow, in a part of the world where there was supposed to be nothing but water,’ he continued.
‘The only cause of this red glow that we could think of was the explosion of a huge volcano just underneath the surface of the ocean, about 30 minutes before we overflew that exact position.’
Van Heijst was then nervous of encountering an ash-plume in the middle of the night, but fortunately they did not encounter anything of the sort.
Before the flight they had heard via radio about earthquakes in Iceland, Chile and San Francisco.
But despite their being a few volcanoes on their route, they had had not been alerted to any new activity – although this doesn’t necessarily include unseen underwater volcanoes.