The northern lights glow green over Hotel Rangá luxury hotel during wintertime.

Fun Facts About the Northern Lights

Shorter days and longer nights give us more opportunities to see the northern lights. This curious phenomenon has been puzzling and dazzling humans for centuries. We decided to do a little research and make a list of fun facts about the northern lights. Read on to learn what we found.

Keep reading for Hotel Rangá’s list of fun facts about the northern lights.

Green northern lights dance above Hotel Rangá luxury hotel in south Iceland.
Green northern lights dance above Hotel Rangá luxury hotel in south Iceland. Photo by Herman Desmet.

Don’t look up!

Many years ago, pregnant women in Iceland were told not to look at the northern lights. Why? For fear that their child would become cross-eyed.

Pink and green northern lights shine bright above Hotel Rangá luxury hotel in south Iceland.
One fun fact is that every northern lights display is unique. You’ll never see the same colorful combinations twice.

A Colorful Combination

Every northern lights display is unique. The color and movements change all the time, meaning you can see the lights again and again and still feel inspired.

Around the Galaxy

Earth is not the only planet that has auroras. In fact, astronomers have seen the lights on Saturn, Uranus, Neptune and Jupiter.

Two onlookers admire the pink and green northern lights shimmering above Skógafoss.
An epic shot of northern lights dancing above Skógafoss. Photograph by Stefan Liebermann.

The First Photograph

Nowadays, professional photographers fly to Iceland just to take photos of the aurora. But the first photograph of the northern lights was taken on January 5, 1892 by German astronomer and physicist Otto Rudolf Martin Brendel.

Northern Lights

Why is Hotel Rangá one of the best places in Iceland to see the Northern Lights? Click to learn more.

A Roman Goddess

The name aurora borealis actually has Greek and Roman origins. Aurora is the goddess of the dawn and Boreas is a Greek word for the north wind.

A pink and green aurora stretches out across the sky over the Hotel Rangá Observatory.
Our Rangá Observatory has two high-tech telescopes. Photograph by Paige Deasley.

What Does it Mean?

Cultures from around the world have associated the northern lights with a variety of meanings. The British and French thought they were a bad omen whereas Scandinavians believed they foreshadowed good things.

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