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Min Min

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The strange lights seen in parts of Australia, called Min Min, have been researched by F. F. Silcock (who specializes in birds) and Jack Pettigrew[1] (who specializes in neuroscience). The two conclusions of these two scientists are greatly divergent because the term "Min Min" is itself vague; there may be no clear definition that fits most descriptions in all areas of Australia where strange lights appear.

Jack Pettigrew's research[2] seems to be deeper, with more scientific tools. His theory, according to one news source, is that "the lights are actually an inverted mirage of light sources which are, in some cases, hundreds of kilometres away over the horizon."

Mr. Silcock's research, with little or no university assistance, has been much broader. He has interviewed many Australians for ten years[3]and received more than 600 replies to newspaper inquiries. His conclusion is that Min Min lights are barn owls[4], although he does not suggest that all barn owls have bioluminescence, nor that those that can glow use it regularly. It's possible that intrinsic bioluminescence can be used as a last resort when other hunting methods fail. Some eyewitness accounts indicate (in at least some areas) that some barn owls glow to catch insects. Other accounts involve a sick or starving owl that glows before death.

See Also