Aurora Explained Through Folklore

While folktales don't have much to do with physics, it is still interesting to see what different cultures thought of the aurora. There are many legends that try to explain the aurora. Many of them, such as a story from Scotland, tell of battles in the sky with showers of red blood. A story from the Northern Hebrides attributes the aurora to supernatural beings called Blue Men. During an active display of the aurora the Blue Men are called the Merry Dancers also known as na fir chlis (Gaelic for quick, nimble men). When the aurora moves rapidly, there is believed to be a battle going on between clans. The red light was attributed the the blood spilled during these battles.

In Norse mythology, there is reference to Bifrost, or a bridge to the sky built by the Gods. This bridges was said to be on fire to keep the Giants out.

In Medieval art, the aurora was dipicted as candles in the sky.

In Greenland, it was said that the aurora represented the dead playing with the head of a walrus.

No matter what the tale, they are all interesting and are worthy of reading.
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