Spirits of the dead

Aurora borealis
Aurora borealis

Maybe it’s caused by an Arctic Fox running in the far north through the mountains, touching them with his fur, causing sparks that can be seen in the sky. Or maybe it’s the light of the stars reflected on the silver scales of the large groups of Herring in the Arctic Ocean that light up the sky. Or maybe it’s a fire in the sky, lit by Siberian Jays. Or maybe it’s something spiritual, like the activities of the spirits of the dead up in the sky. You might even whistle it closer, so you can pass on messages to the dead.

Or maybe, maybe it has something to do with particles coming from the sun, being attracted by the Earth magnetic field shooting electrons in nitrogen or oxygen in a higher orbit. The light could then be caused by those electrons falling back to their normal shell, the resulting energy emitted as light. But nah, it can’t be something as boring as that…

Sometimes it’s nice to be ignorant. Next time I see the guovssahasah (as the Saami call the Aurora), I’ll watch in awe again and think of the fox and the herring or even try to whistle at it…

Arjen Drost

Arjen is a Polar ecologist, nature photographer and full time expedition guide on expedition cruise ships in both Polar regions. With his pictures and stories he likes to show the beauty of these very fragile and threatened places.

4 comments

  • O, wat schitterend en overweldigend, Arjen. Dus het is je gelukt het Noorderlicht te zien in het Noorden!!! Ik ga volgende week daar naar toe, maar misschien wat laat voor het Noorderlicht.

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    • Op zich zou het nog lang genoeg donker moeten zijn hoor dan. Wat dat betreft zou het zeker nog moeten kunnen. Ben je alleen afhankelijk van de activiteit van de zon…

      Succes ermee!

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  • Kan er niet goed mijn vinger opleggen, maar vindt de foto erg intrigerend!
    Gr. Chris

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