It is a phenomenon that has baffled residents and tourists for more than a century: mysterious lights spotted floating in the foothills of Brown Mountain in North Carolina.
Bobbing and weaving their way through a small area over the Linville Gorge in Burke County, the strange orb-like illuminations appear to float and glow near a modest peak, according to those who have seen them.
Some of the theories about their origin include claims that they reflections from car headlights, brush fires, a paranormal phenomenon - or something entirely natural which science has not yet explained.
Whatever the explanation, the mysterious lights are attracting tourists in their droves, with scores making their way to the area in the hope of witnessing the spectacle for themselves.
Tourism officials are hoping to capitalise on the strange phenomenon, it has been reported. Since the Brown Mountain Lights were the subject of a cable television documentary and sparked online communities of amateur investigators, more and more people have been flocking to the area.
Earlier this month, a seminar held at Morganton City Hall on the Brown Mountain Lights attracted a sell-out crowd of 120 people, who each paid $20 a head. So popular was the seminar, there was even a crowd outside the door hoping to get in.
Ed Phillips, tourism director of Burke County, told the Huffington Post: 'It's a good problem to have. I could have sold 500 tickets.'
Another seminar is in the pipeline, and a contest - with a cash prize for the best photo of video of the lights - has been thrown open for enthusiasts.
T-shirts and fridge magnets featuring the lights have also gone on sale in the area to cash in on the spectacle.
Another event which tourist officials hope will take off is the Brown Mountain Paranormal Expedition.
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2107060/Brown-Mountain-Lights-Tourists-flock-site-mysterious-phenomenon-baffles-residents-100-years.html#ixzz1ncpoleI0