Another of the great quirks that makes Texas, Texas, is the Marfa lights. Marfa is in far west Texas — alone, a tiny city in a very arid area. It’s desolate enough that Hollywood thought it would be a great place to film much of the movie “Giant,” which needed to use part of Godforsaken* County to make a point about how desolate Texas can be.
And way out there, there is a hill where one can stop after sundown, and watch the mysterious dancing of lights coming from the not-too-distant hills. So far as I can tell, no good explanation exists for what the lights might be. Physicists have ruled out mirages, and the lights were there long before auto headlights anyway.
Marfa hosts the “Mystery Lights Festival” over Labor Day Weekend (as the story cited above notes, the same weekend as Alpine, Texas, hosts its balloon festival — two West Texas happenings in one trip, perhaps).
Do you know of a good explanation? Anybody got one?
- * No, there is not really a Godforsaken County among Texas’s 254 counties. Teachers wishing to use this in the classroom may want to be aware that there is a very short video of the Marfa lights mystery on “Texas Country Reporter’s” DVD collection commemorating 25 years of stories. Texas Country Reporter also has a DVD collection of visits to Texas State Parks, which is a good source of information about Texas geography. I suspect other DVDs from this company would offer other good geography and history supplements (Texas Country Reporter is broadcast on Channel 8 in the Dallas area, and on other television stations throughout the state).