Locals are worried that the gods atop Mount Kinabalu in Malaysian Borneo might still be angry one week after they caused an earthquake because they were angered by a group of Western backpackers who stripped off on top of the sacred mountain.
Eighteen people, including school children and one teacher from Singapore, reportedly died in the 6.0 magnitude earthquake that hit the 4,095-meter (13,435 feet) Mt. Kinabalu and the Kinabalu National Park at about 10:57 p.m. on Friday, June 5.
The quake was allegedly sparked by angry gods protesting Western backpackers who stripped off on their mountainous abode.
Photos of the blue lights that appeared on the mountain on Thursday – a week after the deadly earthquake – were uploaded to social media sites. Rina Ripau was one of several residents of the village of Ranau near Mt. Kinabablu who uploaded images of the blue rays emanating from the mountain to his Facebook page.
A local nurse also posted photos of the phenomenon to her Facebook page while other villagers recorded videos.
Witnesses said the light appeared multiple times and that on each occasion it lasted several minutes with a brilliant blue color.
According to reports in the Malaysian media, a villager said, “The sky was bright as if there was a rainbow, but unlike a rainbow, it was all striking blue. We have not seen anything like this before.”
The phenomenon reportedly sparked an online debate over what they portended.
Some suggested that the lights might mean that the gods were still simmering in anger over Western backpackers running naked on their sacred mountain.
A Malaysian social media user asked, “Does this blue light mean gods are still angry?”
Malaysia’s Sabah News reports that scientists confirmed the lights were linked to the earthquake but were not a sign that the gods were still angry. According to experts, the blue rays are called “blue rainbow” and present as “blue brushstroke light.”
According to the Malaysian Star, scientists said the lights are often seen in areas where the earthquake occurred recently and are due to ionization of oxygen in certain types of rocks subjected to stress as a result of seismic activity.
[Images: Facebook via Express, Malaysian Star]