Thursday, May 17, 2012

Northern Lights, Inuit Folktale, and the BBC

When I kicked off this month of celebrating Alaska, I started with the Aurora Borealis. In Cold Justice, I relate the story that the Saami of northern Scandinavia tell about this beautiful phenomenon, so I won't tell you about that wonderful folktale because I'm hopeful you'll buy my book and read it. But I also found another story about the lights that I think you might find interesting.

The Inuits explain the lights by saying that they are the departed soles of children playing football. The lights' shimmering forms are figures of these spirit sportsmen kicking a walrus skull as they play the game. And it is more than just a visual show. Sometimes when the Northern Lights shine the air crackles. The Inuits say these sounds are footsteps of the departed on the crust of snow as they play their game. If you whistle dead souls will draw near.

This clip gives a more scientific explanation, and catches some gorgeous shots.



  1. This is probably what I want to see most in Alaska. My husband dreams of doing an Alaskan cruise one day. We'll see.

    1. An Alaskan cruise would be awesome. I've always wanted to see the Northern Lights myself. It goes on my bucket list.



Related Posts with Thumbnails