Chinese scientists have recorded the rare phenomena in nature for the first time
[…] Jianyong Cen, Ping Yuan, and Simin Xue were using spectrographs and video cameras to observe a thunderstorm near Qinghai in China’s desolate western provinces when they saw something they weren’t expecting.
After a bolt of lightning hit the ground, a glowing ball about five metres wide rose up and travelled about 15 metres, before disappearing about 1.6 seconds later.
Stunned, the researchers packed up their kit and headed back to their lab, where they discovered that the elements in the ball were the same as those in the local soil — silicon, iron and calcium. They published their results in the journal Physical Review Letters.