Effects of Aurora Borealis

The northern lights affect the human being, at least indirectly, via mental experience. Evidence of this are the numerous legends and beliefs that are alive still today. Some of the effects of these beliefs are very positive. Many of us would very much like to see and experience the northern lights at least once in our lifetime. According to the Inuits, the northern lights are caused by the souls of dead people playing soccer in the sky, celestial football, with the skull of a walrus. The same game happens to be their favourite on earth, too. Apparently, there must be a lot of fun in the heavens. But the Inuits also say that the one who watches the northern lights too much will eventually go mad.

In the beliefs of an indigenous tribe in Siberia, the northern lights help women to give birth, and according to another belief a child conceived by the
light of the aurora will have a long and happy life. It is natural for a human who has never seen the aurora to want to see them at least once during his lifetime. Experienced as an adult, the display of the active northern lights is unforgettable. An active auroral substorm is nature's most beautiful display of colour.

Written for Virtual Finland by
Esa Turunen Ph.D. and Jyrki Manninen Ph.D.

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