Aurora Borealis / Northern Lights

Thomas Ulich (
28 Jul 1995 13:02:55 GMT


I am a space physicist who will teach a class of international students of
various degree programmes. My lecture will be a broad introduction to
the Northern (and southern) lights (aurora borealis/australis), having mainly
three big topics one of which will be on myths about this phenomenon and
about the attitudes different people have/had towards it.

I am looking for tales about the aurora, sayings (like the one below), or
folkloristic explanations. E.g. in Finland aurora is called "fire of the
fox". This comes from the idea of the silver fox running over the slopes
of snowcovered mountains, stirring up the snow into the sky which then
reflects the moonlight.

If you know any kind of tales or whatever about the northern lights, from
your own or another people, I would be very happy to hear about it. I will
collect all the material I get and put it on-line on the WWW (if requested
I will post it here, too).

Thank you very much for your help and time,

Thomas Ulich e-mail: www:

Inuit say: He who looks long upon the aurora soon goes mad.