Mystical 'light pillars' form over Canada

Light pillars form over Ontario, Canada (Timothy Joseph Elzinga)
The photos were taken at around 1:30am (local time) (Timothy Joseph Elzinga / Imgur)

Residents in Ontario, Canada, have been captivated by beams of light which look like something out of a movie.

But Scotty's not trying to beam somebody up, à la Star Trek - it's a weather phenomenon known as 'light pillars', according to National Geographic.

Northern Ontario man Timothy Joseph Elzinga captured photos of the lights earlier this month, after being woken up by his toddler early in the morning.

"I had to investigate. I got some pants on and ran outside and took some photos," he told Canada's CBC News.

"It was very bright in person, like nothing I've ever seen. It almost seemed supernatural."

According to National Geographic, light pillars occur when either natural or artificial light bounces off ice crystals near the ground.

In North Bay, Ontario, it was so cold ice crystals had formed in the air, which reflected the city's lights.