The Naga fireballs of the Mekong river are not a question of ‘If’, but a question of ‘What’. They are one of the most well documented unexplained phenomena in the entire world. Every year during October on the night of Wan Awk Pansa thousands of spectators gather on the banks of the Mekong river in Thailand and Laos to see the legendary Naga breathe forth balls of fire from the river itself. Many have been watching this every year for their entire life. The balls themselves are reddish in color and are about the size of an egg. They slowly and silently rise from the river before accelerating high into the air where they disappear. There can be anywhere from tens to thousands of these glowing orbs per night. The balls themselves are seen either side of the festival night, which attests to the fact it’s more than likely of natural origin rather than an organized display by officials.
Their supernatural origin is not without opposition. Manas Kanoksin, a doctor from Nong Khai strongly believes that fermenting sediment on the river’s bottom causes pockets of methane gas to form, and that the Earth’s position in relation to the sun during those days of the year causes them to rise, then spontaneously ignite in the presence of ionized oxygen. Italian chemists Luigi Garlaschelli and Paolo Boschetti, have replicated the lights by adding chemicals to the gases formed by rotting compounds. But other researchers dismiss this theory, pointing out that the rocky river bottom doesn’t have much sediment, and that the water’s turbulence would break up any such methane bubbles before they reached the water’s surface. Whatever the cause, the Naga fireballs of the Mekong are one of the least known, most spectacular of phenomena to observe.
Each year, hundreds of fireballs spontaneously explode out of Thailand’s Mekong River. Known as “bung fai paya nak” or “Naga fireballs,” they have appeared on the “late autumn night of the full moon at the end of the Buddhist Lent for as long as anyone can remember,” according to a 2002 Time magazine story about the phenomenon. Some believe the balls come from the breath of Naga, a mythical serpent that haunts the river. (Locals use old grainy pictures and postcards of the mythical beast to prove its presence to tourists.) Others believe the fireballs are actually pockets of methane bubbling up from the river, but many locals remain convinced that the fireballs are of a supernatural origin.
Weird things are happening some 70 - 100 kilometres downstream from the Vientiane - capital of Laos. In the nights from the muddy waters of Mekong river appear red glowing balls which quickly rise up in the air and disappear without noise (some, who manage to be close to the lights, report silent hiss). These mysterious sparkles are small, but sometimes they reach a size of a basketball.
These are not some ghosts seen by occasional people and questioned by majority. Ghost fireballs of Mekong have been seen by thousands of people, photographed and captioned on movies and, after all, investigated by scientists looking for the explanation of this interesting phenomenon. Unexplained Phenomenon of NAGA Fire Balls