Strange light pillars seen across Kinmen, Matsu and Fujian areas

The “light pillars” were seen in southeastern Pingtan County. (Courtesy of @wudiwushitu/Weibo)

TAIPEI (The China Post) — Many people shared photos of strange light pillars taken in Kinmen, Matsu and Fujian province on Sunday. The astonishing photos, which captured an atmospheric optical phenomenon went viral.

A Chinese photographer shared on Weibo the amazing photos of “nature laser show” snapped in southeastern Pingtan County, Fujian province.

“I was going to take a picture of the Milky Way, but it was covered by clouds, so I couldn’t continue,” he wrote. “I waited for the moon to rise and wanted to take a few pictures to call it a day, but unexpectedly I found these unidentified light pillars in the sky.”

The “light pillars” were seen in southeastern Pingtan County.(left) and the light pillars spotted in Matsu. (right) (Courtesy of @wudiwushitu/Weibo and @weather.taiwan / Facebook)

Many people in Matsu also observed this amazing phenomenon and captured the rarely seen atmospheric event. But, how does a “nature laser show” work?

A post on Facebook fan page @weather.taiwan explained that the effect, called “light pillars,” comes from the reflection of light from tiny ice crystals suspended in the atmosphere or that comprise high-altitude clouds.

Usually, the tiny ice crystals reflect the light that is lower than the horizon after the sun sets, with few of which reflecting “moonlight or human-made light.”

“This is a rarely seen atmospheric phenomenon,” the post read.

“The fact that there were high clouds over Matsu at that time may have been the cause of this phenomenon.”