Russia, known throughout history as a land of unique music, art and literature, is increasingly becoming known for another distinction: unexplained nighttime explosions.
Residents up late in the southern city of Stavropol were treated to a bizarre blue and white burst that lit up the sky at roughly 12:49 a.m. local time Tuesday, RT reported.
The burst lit up the sky for several seconds before vanishing and was captured on a motorist's dashboard camera (due to widespread police corruption and lax traffic laws, dashcams are nearly ubiquitous in Russian cars). According to RT, frightened local residents offered many explanations for the burst, including military exercises, the aurora borealis and, of course, UFOs. It reportedly caused some lights to flicker but otherwise was connected to no disturbances.
"I can't think of anything," Ted Keller, a meteorologist at KTTS News in Springfield, Missouri, told Mic when asked what it could be.
Stavropol Hydrometeorological Center told RT that the burst "can't be attributed to nature," a sentiment that Keller echoed. Russian scientists suggested that the light came from a ground-level source. Power engineers have insisted that the burst was not the result of faulty electrical lines.
Russians, however, will probably take it in stride, as the country has a long history of bizarre and unexplained meteorological occurrences. Russia's growing use of dashcams have shined light — often specularly bright ones — on what appears to be a regular event in Russian skies.
The famous 1908 explosion that leveled a sizable chunk of land near the Podkamennaya Tunguska River in Siberia has still never been fully explained. While most scientists today believe it to have been caused by an asteroid, conspiracies have run the gamut from black holes to "death rays."
While official explanations for the Stavropol light show may not be forthcoming, the Russian military has acknowledged in the past that it has been responsible for bizarre astrological occurrences. In 2009, what could perhaps best be described as a "wormhole" materialized over Norway in an incident that Russia ultimately said was the result of a failed Bulava missile test.