Nature creates numerous shows that amaze us, and the Northern Lights are among the most spectacular ones.
Nowadays, we are fortunate as, with the help of social media and the Internet, we get the chance to see many of them even if we cannot afford visiting the place of the natural miracle.
The dancing lights of the aurora are caused by collisions between electrically charged particles from the sun that enter the atmosphere of the Earth. They are seen above the magnetic poles of the northern and southern hemispheres. The magical lights are called ‘Aurora borealis’ in the north and ‘Aurora australis’ in the south.
The dramatic photos of this phenomenon, taken in Kaldarsel by photographer Hallgrimur P. Helgason, have fascinated the world.
They show a unique moment when the Northern Lights take the shape of a Phoenix. In mythology, this bird is considered to be a symbol of immortality, as the bird rose from the ashes.
In Helgason’s images, the massive phoenix looks like rising from the ground and flying over Iceland.
Helgason explained that he saw the shape of the majestic bird an hour after he arrived, and he immediately started taking photos.
“It’s really a thrill shooting the aurora, especially when they are so playful like they were that night. I have to admit that I always get an adrenalin kick when the lights burst out like that – that particular shot was the top one of the night.”
That night, he used a camera and tripod and explained that the aurora borealis was very intense, as he mainly saw green and yellow colors, as well as some red and blue.
The meaning of the Lights has been interpreted in various ways in different cultures.
In Norse mythology, the Northern Lights are believed to have been created by the reflection of the shields and armor of the Valkyrie. These female warriors decided who would die in battle and who got to fight another day.
The aurora borealis was also believed to be “Bifrost Bridge”; a glowing and throbbing arch that led those who had fallen in battle to Valhalla, the final resting place of the warriors.
On the other hand, the Sami indigenous people believe the Lights are their ancestors, who have come to visit them.
Finns believed that a mystical fox created the Lights when its fluffy tail sprayed snow and threw sparks in the sky.
They are believed to be human spirits dancing by the Salteaus Indians of eastern Canada and the Kwakiutl and Tlingit of Southeastern Alaska, while Inuits thought of them as the dance of animal spirits.