If your only experience or knowledge of St. Elmo's Fire comes from the hit '80s movie or the cracking song by John Parr, you're not alone.
St. Elmo's Fire is an incredibly rare weather phenomenon that occurs when an electrical field surrounding an object ionises the air molecules, creating a faint glow that's very visible in low-light conditions, like say at dusk or twilight. The phenomenon has been sighted on only a few occasions, and has been recorded throughout history by the likes of Nikola Tesla, Julius Caesar, and Charles Darwin.
However, a recent video doing the rounds on Twitter claims to have caught St. Elmo's Fire on camera crossing a train track somewhere in Russia. Here's a couple of tweets making the claim.
This luminous plasma discharge is a weather phenomenon known as St. Elmo's fire. pic.twitter.com/BdHYxrgxwB
— Universal Curiosity (@UniverCurious) January 9, 2020
This luminous plasma discharge is a weather phenomenon known as St. Elmo's fire pic.twitter.com/KaQsYz8kW0
— Physics & Astronomy Zone🔭 (@ZonePhysics) January 6, 2020
Of course, this is clearly a fake for a number of reasons. For one, St. Elmo's Fire doesn't look like this at all. It looks more closer to a one-off discharge. What this is more closer to is ball lightning, and even at that, it wouldn't look like this. Secondly, it wouldn't move like that either.
The source video is from a Russian VFX's YouTube account, which was published in May of last year and currently has just over 70,000 views. In fact, the video's creator even pointed out that the phenomenon was fake and clearly identified it as CGI.
Here's that video.
There you have it, folks. Nothing to see here. Return to your homes. Move along.