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Origin[]

Shiranui Seafire is a type of ghost fire said to be seen in Kyushu in the Yatsushiro Sea and the Ariake Sea. Said to appear on days of the noon moon during the sixth or seventh month of the lunisolar calendar when the wind is weak. The phenomenon begins as one or two flames (called oya-dama or father fire) appearing far out to sea, the the ends would split off and multiply into thousands of lights several kilometers long. They are said to be several meters off, and cannot be seen near the water, and any attempts to get near them would cause them to escape further into the sea. Said to be lanterns of the dragon god, villages would prohibit fishing on days that the shiranui was seen.

Modern attempts to explain the origin of these mysterious fires seem to have concluded that they are reflections of cooking and fish-luring fires, refracted through different densities of air and water to look like mysterious ghost lights. Nowadays, with changes in the composition of the water and too much light pollution on land, it becomes increasingly difficult to see these ghost lights.

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