Science and the supernatural: A perfect webinar for Halloween
Just in time for Halloween, the director of the Minnesota Sea Grant is hosting a webinar as part of the “Practical Water Wisdom” series. It’s called “Supernatural Lakes: Monsters, Ghosts, Witches, Fairies, and Aliens.”
John Downing will share about some of the stories that got him interested in limnology.
“I remember when I was a kid, my dad would point out at the mist rising off the lake and call them ghost ships,” he said. “But I think when you have these strange apparitions over lakes, people interpret them in different sorts of ways. I mean, 75 percent of people in the United States believe in the paranormal. 18 percent feel they’ve seen a ghost. So why not look at a thing, looks like a ghost, acts like a ghost, there it is.”
One of the “supernatural” phenomena Downing is interested in is wicked fairies.
“It’s basically just a couple chemicals mixed together that come out of water, and they make this glowing. Glowing above water,” he said. “And so you go back 100 years, and people would be walking in the dark, walking in the woods, and they’d see this light off in the woods, and they’d follow it and drown.”
The talk is not necessarily about myth-busting, he says.
“I have a sense of humor. I like science very much. It’s what I’ve lived and done my whole career in lake science. We can explain some of these things. Maybe not all. But why do we need to? It’s kind of fun just to … let our imaginations run wild,” Downing said.
People can register for the webinar here.