This month, people in Oklahoma have been treated to a stunning and extremely rare display - a red sprite lightning storm

This month, people in Oklahoma have been treated to a stunning and extremely rare display - a red sprite lightning storm
This month, people in Oklahoma have been treated to a stunning and extremely rare display - a red sprite lightning storm.

The extraordinary weather occurrence is caused by electrical bursts of light above highly active thunderstorms, and appears as jellyfish-shaped clusters of red light.

Red sprites are rarely seen, yet one lucky videographer managed to catch the display six times during a storm earlier this month over Edmond, Oklahoma.

On October 6, videographer Paul Smith headed outdoors with his camera to capture some of the lightening forks on film, but instead he managed to capture something far more remarkable.

Sprawled out in the sky intermittently appears a spectacular series of bright red, jellyfish-shaped clusters of light, an extraordinary weather occurrence known as a 'red sprite'.


The mysterious electrical bursts occur over highly active thunderstorms around 37 to 56 miles (50 to 60 kilometres) above Earth, and are rarely observed from land or space, due to their high altitudes and millisecond durations.

The stunning sight is captured not only once, but a staggering six times by Mr Smith, who was left 'stunned' by the magnificent encounter.

Mr Smith said: 'I've always been interested in unusual weather and uncommon natural phenomenon.

'I've been capturing northern lights images for a few years as well as lightning and storm clouds, but never anything as rare as this.

The extraordinary weather occurrence appears as jellyfish-shaped clusters of bright red light, and is caused by electrical bursts of light above highly active thunderstorms

The extraordinary weather occurrence appears as jellyfish-shaped clusters of bright red light, and is caused by electrical bursts of light above highly active thunderstorms
'After seeing some clips of red sprites on YouTube, I'd been wanting to witness one first hand, and finally the opportunity arose.

'It feels very special to be one of the few people to witness and document this incredible occurrence.

'I'm blessed to have a wife and family who are very accommodating in allowing me to be gone so much, to chase these and experience opportunities when they come my way.

'I hope I can start some kind of a collaboration with a scientific body so that the sprite generating storm can be locally studied.

'They're so elusive and relatively new to science that any information that we can attain from their generation would be highly beneficial to their study.'

Red sprites

Red sprites are electrical bursts of light that occur above highly active thunderstorms. They can be seen in the D region of the ionosphere - the area just above the dense lower atmosphere, about 37 to 56 miles (60 km to 90 km) above the Earth