Rare phenomenon of light pillars captured in Kudat

  • Nation
  • Thursday, 22 Jun 2017

A rare display of light pillars at Kudat's Pulau Kelambu. Pix by Andrew JK Tan

KUDAT: A group of photographers witnessed a rare display of lights in the sky here Wednesday night.

The dazzling, brightly coloured vertical light pillars — in orange, red, green, yellow and white — danced in the sky for hours.

The phenomenon was observed near Pulau Kelambu, located at the tip of Borneo.

The photographers, led by Andrew JK Tan, the founder of Mentographian, a group of photography enthusiasts, first spotted the light beams at 9pm. They also saw the dancing lights in the middle of the sea near the island.

The light pillars started to fade by 1am on Thursday.

"We were surprised to be greeted by the display of vertical colourful lights. It was magnificent. It is definitely a moment to treasure in our lives," said Tan.

Light pillars are an atmospheric optical phenomenon which generally occurs in cold, arctic regions.

Light pillars appear when natural or artificial light bounces off flat ice crystals floating in the air close to the ground. These lights tend to take on the colour of the light source.

The last time such a phenomenon was seen in Sabah was two years ago in Kota Kinabalu. Prior to that, the lights were seen in the state's east coast in 2006.


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