Beam me up! Mysterious light pillars captured in stunning photos

An Ontario dad can thank his toddler son waking him up in the middle of the night for these breathtaking images.

Timmy Joe Elzinga's 2-year-old son Gibson woke him up at 1:30 a.m. last Friday, as toddlers sometimes do. But this wake-up call turned out to have a silver lining. Or a silver, red, green, gold, white, yellow and blue lining.

After soothing Gibson, Elzinga noticed something off in the sky outside his North Bay, Ontario, home: beams of lights flashing in the sky.

"I was freaking out," Elzinga said. "My wife came and took a look at it, but I had to investigate further. I opened the bathroom window and even took the screen out so I could get those images."

As Elzinga relates in a video posted to his YouTube channel, the light show was misleading.

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Timmy Joe Elzinga used a cell phone to snap some dazzling images of light pillars outside his Ontario home.

Photo by Timmy Joe Elzinga

"I got trolled by nature," he jokes in his video, explaining that what he thought was the Northern Lights turned out to be something called light pillars, beams of light refracted through tiny ice crystals.

It was -18 Celsius (-0.4 Fahrenheit) and the middle of the night, but even so, other neighbors were out staring at the phenomenon as well.

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Elzinga jokes that nature trolled him, since at first he thought he was seeing the Northern Lights

Photo by Timmy Joe Elzinga

Elzinga, a Star Trek fan, compared the lights to that show's transporter beams, as well as the famed Bat-signal.

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Elzinga said the lights reminded him of Star Trek's transporter, or the Bat-signal.

Photo by Timmy Joe Elzinga

Reaction to his video, and the still photos he shot with his cell phone and shared on Imgur, has been "pretty amazing," Elzinga said.

Some people were even "kind of sad" to learn there was a science behind the majestic-looking sight. "One woman commented she wished it was supernatural and unexplainable," he said.

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