These long streaks of light may mark the location of legendary goods or mystery boxes high in the sky, but they are the consequence of a rare natural event. What may be causing the emergence of these excellent beams, which have also been the subject of some UFO sightings?

Freezing weather may not be the most pleasant atmosphere, but it does provide these breathtaking images. Only when the air temperature goes below the freezing point of water (0 °C or 32 °F) may they appear. A light source of some kind is also required for the phenomena to occur.

Ordinary street lights will usually be enough.

Freezing temperatures cause microscopic ice crystals to grow in the air, resulting in these beautiful light pillars over Alaska. NASA/Walter Tape/Walter Tape/Walter Tape/Walter Tape/Walter Tap
So, these light pillars are generated by ordinary street lamps?

Technically, yes, but hexagon-shaped ice crystals that form in the air when temperatures dip below 0 degrees play a more significant influence in this event. Usually, these dissipate before reaching the ground, but flat flashing ice crystals, akin to light snow, can accumulate near the bottom in icy conditions.

In addition, the air must be quiet and wind-free, as the wind might interfere with light reflection.

Flat plates, which tend to position themselves somewhat horizontally as they fly through the air, make up most of these crystals. They will reflect bright light sources placed underneath them once there are enough of them. They reflect the light to us like tiny mirrors, forming a light pillar in the sky.

According to, people frequently mistake them for UFOs at Niagara Falls, where more UFO sightings are claimed during the winter when the ice mist from the dropping water combines with the city lights.

They may appear weird, but they are far from being a spacecraft or a UFO.

Light pillars can be created by various sources, not just artificial lights. Our star, the Sun, can make its light pillars, but the word “sun pillar” is more accurate in this situation. Sun pillars appear just before sunset, when the sun is low enough in the western sky, or just before sunrise when the sun is intense in the eastern sky. Clouds must also be thin enough to allow sufficient light to reach our eyes to see the pillar.

Sun pillars are similar to light beams, except they stretch outward from the sun.

Light pillars are uncommon since numerous conditions must be satisfied to witness them, but, once constructed, the posts will be a visual feast for any observer.