Strange lights seen in Austin skies – But there is a simple explanation

January 1, 2024 by No Comments

Last night, Austin residents reported sightings of strange orange lights in the night skies. Naturally with sightings like this, people will jump to conclusions. In this case, some were quick to make accusations of UFOs and similar goings-on. Unfortunately for those with vivid imaginations, the reality was much more ordinary and boring.

It turns out that these were fire balloons released by the Buddist temple on Slaughter. This is a yearly tradition that takes place on New Year’s Eve and often ends in confused locals speculating on what they could be. Apparently, these were sighted as far as San Antonio and other neighboring cities.


Sometimes, people also report burning smells alongside these sightings which also makes sense considering the contents of sky lanterns. The above photo was originally posted on Reddit by a curious local who was quickly informed of what was going on. It also makes sense that this would occur on New Year’s Eve of all nights which is typically when people are more likely to celebrate with such traditions.

While sky lanterns may be aesthetically pleasing, they come with a range of risks and dangers. There’s a chance that they can cause fires if they land in dry areas, such as fields or roofs. Additionally, they can pose a threat to wildlife if they get entangled in trees or power lines.

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