What is wisp

Surrounded by mysticism and superstition, the sight of a wisp is a sight as beautiful as it is breathtaking. Very important part of the fault of all the legendary dark around the wisps comes from the areas in which it is easier to witness them, which are swamps and cemeteries.

Wisp: what is it – simple definition

In areas where there are plants that are being eliminated by decomposing organisms , gases such as phosphorus are produced, which rise from the accumulations that originate them. The gases of the vegetal decomposition , which are flammable, sometimes spontaneously combustion and ignite, giving rise to small pale flares that are usually seen at night and on the area where the decomposition originates or, even, on the surface of the water in swampy places, with stagnant waters or, even, in cemeteries.

Some say that decomposing animals can also cause wisps, although others disagree with this because if it were methane, the flame would be a different color, so there is no clear consensus in this regard. It is generally accepted that most wildfires are caused by phosphane and diphosphane inflammation .

These are not dangerous flames and, usually, they do not have enough force to burn or the paper, although sometimes there are testimonies that claim to have been able to light leaves on them. Although some attempts have been made to replicate it in an experimental environment, it has never been fully achieved, since it is a relatively little studied phenomenon.

The first requirement to see a wisp is that it be at night . It is not that the phenomenon only occurs at night, but since it is necessary to travel to natural areas to see it and because the flames are pale in color, during the day it is most likely that it will go unnoticed.

There are many specific areas that are recognized as points of sighting of wisps , although in general terms the most common is to see them in cemeteries and swampy areas . In the former, wildfire is produced by phosphorus and calcium salts present in human bones or other animals buried in the area, while in swamps fires appear due to the decomposition of plant matter, which occurs many times underwater and causes gases to ignite by accumulating on the surface.

Naga fireballs occur on the Mekong River in Thailand , a very common and partly similar phenomenon. There are also those who believe that it may simply be bioluminescent organisms , capable of creating their own light, such as some fungi or microorganisms.

Wisp has practically always been associated with an ominous phenomenon, although it is easy to understand if one considers its appearance of pale flames on the surface of a swamp or in a cemetery. These are some of the myths and legends about wisps around the world :

  • In Gaelic popular culture they are called will-o’-the-wisp , and are identified as spirits of an evil nature, of dead people or other creatures, who try to make travelers lose themselves to share their fate. Other versions identify them as the spirits of children who have not received baptism, and who thus wander between heaven and hell, without reaching any.
  • In Japan there are the Hitodamas , which are in theory the souls of recently dead people, with the appearance of green or blue spheres that leave a trail when floating, and it is believed that it may be directly related to the wisps.
  • In South America, they are usually given connotations of evil and dangerous souls who have not been able to find peace or access heaven. The case of Colombia deserves special mention, in which it is believed that only good-hearted and detached people can see these llamas, which is why they are almost always seen by children. There they believe that they indicate the location of an ancient buried treasure.

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