LOCALS SWEAR THEY’VE seen ghosts at the Banni grasslands situated to the south of the Rann of Kutch, Gujarat. e roundish balls of light are about three metres in height and can be quite unsettling to spot on a dark night. ese “ghosts” — or chir batti as the locals call them — in white, blue, red and yellow colours are spotted only a er sunset, oating some ten feet above the ground.
ey’re said to be visible for several minutes before vanishing into thin air. If you walk past them, they follow you, but if you try to follow them, they oat away.
Our friendly ghosts are actually a result of a chemical reaction — or so it has been speculated by researchers. e polluted Indus river that ows through this region has been depositing itself on the banks here since years. Believed to be carrying chemicals such as phosphine, methane and diphosphate, on their contact with oxygen, the gasses ignite. eir movement is a result of air displacement and sighting them is possible only in the dark as their glow is not strong enough to “out-glow” bright city lights.