Glowing trees exist, and they’re as natural as lightning strikes. In fact, a lightning strike was exactly why one particular tree at the SS. Peter and Paul Cemetery in St. Louis was glowing like a furnace this week.
According to The Riverfront Times, area resident Jim Probst spotted the tree early that morning while walking his dog — and boy was it ever an amazing sight.
“What I noticed immediately, walking up to the tree, was all the bark that was everywhere,” he later recalled to the Times. “It was as if the tree had exploded.”
Odder still was how there were no flames, yet the exposed interior of the tree looked like a veritable furnace, as can be seen in the video below:
As noted in a fact sheet by Purdue University, when lightning strikes a tree, its immense heat typically brings the tree’s interior moisture to a boil, causing steam to form and expand until the tree essentially detonates like a bomb.
But this still didn’t account for the tree glowing like a furnace. Probst theorized that perhaps that morning’s strong storm winds had kept the fire inside from expanding outward, thus creating the effect of a furnace.
“It was like stoked coals,” he said. “It was smoldering, felt like a big campfire. By my own observation, I assumed that a large part of the hole hadn’t necessarily been blown out, but had been cooking since 2 in the morning.”
By Thursday, the glow had disappeared, and all that remained was a scarred tree with “a coal-lined enclosure large enough to climb into,” according to the Times.
The glowing tree was no more.
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