Who knew that something so magical exists on our country’s shores, literally)? A group of photographers, led by Mentographian founder Andrew JK Tan, chanced upon light pillars in the sky on Wednesday (21st June 2017) night.

What are light pillars, you ask?

Source: The New York Times

“Light pillars occur when ice-containing clouds – normally miles high in the atmosphere – cling closer to the Earth’s surface, just a hundred or a few thousand feet above it. These thin clouds contain millions of flat, hexagonal crystals of ice that float horizontally in the air. Each ice crystal acts like a mirror pointed downward, reflecting the artificial light back to your eyes – as long as the cloud is about halfway between you and the light source. Together, the crystals form a cluster of mirrors floating at different heights, which allows you to see the light as a column; if they all were at the same level, you’d see only a spot of light. The pillars can be quite colourful at times because each reflected beam is the same colour as its source.”The New York Times.

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What makes Andrew JK Tan’s encounter even more magical than the actual phenomenon is the fact that light pillars are generally seen in cold, arctic regions.

Andrew JK Tan and the group of photography enthusiasts first spotted the light beams at 9pm near Pulau Kelambu in East Malaysia. The light pillars danced in the sky for a couple of hours before they started to fade at 1am on Thursday (22nd June 2017) morning.

Source: Andrew JK Tan

The Star Online quoted Andrew as saying, “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.”

Sources: The Star Online, The New York Times / Featured image: Andrew JK Tan.

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