Aussies, if you’re looking for some real life ‘Stranger Things’ go no further than your own backyard. We are a country of weird formations, ghouls and strange environmental occurrences. From the strange lights floating in Queensland, to our haunted small towns, it’s time to experience the weird world ‘Down Under.’
The Town of Picton
Image: Picton Tunnel, pre-1880, New South Wales State Archives
Picton, or as it was originally known, Stonequarry was founded in 1821 and is home to the infamous Redbank Range railway tunnel. A tunnel packed with tragedy and history, one that has continually haunted the town to this day.
Once a storage room for mustard gas and ammunition during the Second World War, the tunnel has a tragic past. Long Before its use as a storage facility, it claimed the lives of many Picton residents.
One such resident Emily Bollard is believed to haunt the tunnels to this day after her tragic death in 1916.
Emily left home late one night. Wandering around town, she headed towards the tunnel. Upon entering the mouth of the tunnel she was struck by a train and killed, whether her death was a planned suicide or a tragic accident is still a mystery, but since that night so many years ago Emily has “appeared” to many residents deep within the stone walls of the tunnel. Residents and visitors report a flowing figure of a woman with no face. Ghostly children, strange lights and sudden drops in temperature have also been reported in the tunnel.
For Students and teachers at Westall State School and Westall High School, 6 April 1966 started out like any other day. Then, suddenly, eyewitnesses say they saw three metallic discs moving quickly through the sky. They remember the strange objects landing in a paddock near the schools before taking off, never to be seen again.
Many people now believe the “flying saucers” were silver-coloured high altitude balloons monitoring radiation levels that had gone off course.
We may never know the answer for certain – the paperwork for the launches the day before the sighting are missing.
Western Australia’s Fairy Circles
Image: The ‘fairy circles’ in Namibia, Michael Fay
One of nature’s greatest mysteries lies in the Australian outback. Circular barren patches, known as “fairy circles”, have been found throughout the red-soiled Pilbara region of Western Australia.
Until now, these patches of bare Earth had only been seen in the Namibian desert, stretching from South Africa to Angola. The cause has long baffled scientists. Floated theories include termites nibbling at grass roots, a build-up of toxic gas and competition between plants for limited water.
The discovery of the circles in Australia has allowed experts to discount some of these theories. The circles may be caused by the way plants organise themselves.
If not protected by vegetation, the Australian soil is backed onto a hard crust and water struggles to penetrate the ground – meaning it flows away, leaving patches where plants cannot germinate.
Queensland’s Mysterious Floating Lights
Image: Min Min sign in Boulia, outback Queensland, Australia, www.gondwananet.com
First reported in May 1918, the eerie Min Min lights have been said to reduce men to tears. Described as fluorescent hovering balls, the lights appear just above the horizon. Although sightings are rare, the mysterious outback lights attract many visitors. The mystery has lived with the town’s folk of Boulia for over a century, stimulating some rather terrifying folklore. Parents told their children to behave otherwise the Min Min lights would comeould come and steal them away, Indigenous Australians consider the lights to be spirits and locals believe that if the Min Min lights ever catch up with you, you will disappear inside them forever.
Tasmania’s Glowing Coastline
Image: Instagram, brett.chatwin
Preservation Bay near the town of Penguin was invaded by the bioluminescent phytoplankton – or “Sea Sparkle” early 2017.
As the name suggests -Sea Sparkle are a type of microalgae that excrete glowing fluid as a defence mechanism. The algae will attract the predator by emitting the glowing light. Creating a distraction so they don’t have to worry about being eaten.
Sydney's Red Sky
Image: Still from Nature's Weirdest Events
Who could forget the the morning Sydney's sky turned red? A dust cloud the size of Spain brought 16 tonnes of dust particles from central Australia to create an unforgettable phenomena.
Australia, how many of these stranger things have you experienced in the weird world ‘Down Under’?
Lead Image: Australia’s ‘fairy circles’ vary between four and seven metres in diameter, Dr Stephan Getzin