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  1. #1
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    Mekong River Naga fireballs event fails to impress eager crowds

    Naga fireballs event fails to impress eager crowds
    Holy serpent only released 67 this year

    By Mongkol Kannikar

    The Naga fireballs phenomenon left spectators somewhat disappointed on Friday night as only 67 fireballs were spewed by the Naga from the Mekong River this year, compared to the hundreds that can normally be witnessed in the yearly event.

    From dusk till dawn, curious visitors descended en masse on the banks of the Mekong River as it snakes through the districts of Sangkhom, Tha Bo, Phon Phisai and Bung Kan, and Ratana Wapi sub-district of this northeastern province, thought to be the best locations to witness the natural phenomenon.

    The fireballs spectacle, which has left scientists scratching their heads in disbelief, occurs around the full moon of the 11th month of the lunar year, or at the end of Buddhist Lent.

    According to local legend, the fireballs are discharged by a Naga, a mythical serpent in the Mekong River, to celebrate the return of the Lord Buddha from heaven at the end of Buddhist Lent.

    According to an unofficial report on FM 90.5 MHz radio station, altogether 67 Naga fireballs were counted in the sky this year. The first one was witnessed in Ratana Wapi sub-district around 6.10pm. Observers at Wat Tai in Phon Phisai municipality found the event extremely disappointing this year because not a single fireball was disgorged from that part of the river.

    Ratana Wapi sub-district this year saw 43 Naga fireballs, the highest number, followed by Phon Phisai (16), Sangkhom (5) and Tha Bo (3). Last year, a total of 301 fireballs were observed.

    More than 20,000 visitors, both local and foreign, also flocked to Khong Chiam district of Ubon Ratchathani to get a closer glimpse of the mysterious spectacle, where 27 flares were seen.

    Bangkok Post

  2. #2
    Days Work Done! Norton's Avatar
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    Naga must have observed Buddhist lent this year. No beer, no farts, no fireballs!

  3. #3
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    This is one of the events I have really wanted to see, but my travels to Thailand never seemed to coincide with the right time.

    I have hoped that someone ( a friend, media, TD member) would videotape and post.

    The scientist in me would like for someone (from the faculty of a Thai Uni perhaps) to photograph the fireballs and do a spectral analysis of them. Knowing the composition ought to allow a better classification of their origin.

  4. #4
    Days Work Done! Norton's Avatar
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    A few years back I recall reading of such a study by a group of Thai Uni professors. Try Google and there may be some publication you can find.

  5. #5
    Mid
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    an indication of the composition of the river water being altered ?

  6. #6
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    I recall that a local physician has spent many years investigating this. His conclusions were that methane was released and that ionised oxygen, which is found to be in a higher concentration facilitates the detonation. He also noted that these events occur elsewhere but are often not recorded or reported in any detail.

    Worryingly he also noted that the numbers seem to be decreasing as the effects of the Chinese dam building increased. The level of the river is changing and this has an effect of the production of the fireballs, further, as pollutants increase the eco-system of the bacteria which produce the methane is being damaged.

    Regards
    Last edited by A Traveller; 28-10-2007 at 03:38 PM. Reason: Clarification
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  7. #7
    Mid
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    thanxs AT ,

    was purely a guess on my part ,

    however I did have the Chinese Dam building in mind ,

    as an aside the BBC is currently carrying a pic of a loverly green lake in China .

  8. #8
    Mid
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    Nong Khai crowded as citizens gather to watch Naga Fireballs
    14 October 2008


    The atmosphere in Nong Khai province is lively today which marks the end of the Buddhist Lent. Citizens and tourists have begun to crowd the province since yesterday in anticipation to see the annual Naga Fireball phenomenon.

    Many travelers have taken residence in the Mueang district's hotels but must travel to Phon Phisai (โพนพิสัย) district and Rattanawapi (กิ่งอำเภอรัตนวาปี) Sub District where they can view the Mekong River. All hotel rooms in the province have been booked with the province providing free tents for tourists to use near its City Hall and the territory protection voluntary unit.

    Locals believe that the phenomenon is the mythical serpent king Naga's homage to Lord Buddha at the end of the Buddhist Lent. The occurrence resembles spheres of light and fire flying out of the Mekong River towards the sky. The event attracts much attention every year.

    thainews.prd.go.th

  9. #9
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    Anybody got any pictures ????

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