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Top 10 Spookiest Things to Happen in Space

VO: RB

Script written by Nick Roffey

Who knows what lies in the vastness of space? From a floating human, to strange flashing lights, to a face appearing on Mars, these are some strange occurrences from the great beyond. WatchMojo counts down ten spookiest things to happen in space.

Special thanks to our user boxtroll for suggesting this idea! Check out the voting page at http://WatchMojo.comsuggest/Top+10+Spookiest+Things+to+Happen+in+Space.

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Transcript
Script written by Nick Roffey


Top 10 Spookiest Things to Happen in Space


Who knows what lies in the vastness of space? Welcome to Watchmojo.com, and today we're counting down our picks for the Top 10 Spookiest Things To Happen in Space.

For this list, we're looking at reports of creepy sights and sounds in space that raise the hair on the back of our necks. We are primarily focusing on things that were creepy at the time, regardless of whether or not they were later scientifically explained.

#10: Fireflies

It was early days in the space race when astronaut John Glenn became the first American astronaut to orbit the Earth in 1962, carried around on the Mercury spacecraft Friendship 7. He watched the sun set in a brilliant rainbow of light refracted through the Earth’s atmosphere, but as the sun rose something strange happened: a stream of luminescent particles surrounded the capsule. He raced toward the dawn in a cloud of swirling yellow specks. Mission control worried the heat shield was falling apart; but the “fireflies” have since been explained as frozen condensation from the craft itself.


#9: Floating Human

When a human figure tumbled off the International Space Station, it made headlines around the world. The “figure” was an empty Russian Orlan spacesuit with a transmitter in the helmet, cast adrift in 2006 to see if it could be used as a satellite. But watching the footage, it’s hard not to imagine someone inside - floating off into the infinite nothingness of space. The suit drifted around Earth, broadcasting recorded messages from students around the world, until burning up in our atmosphere. If Earth does have alien visitors, we’re guessing this was their turn to be spooked out, as the empty suit floated past with different voices coming from the helmet.

#8: Strange Lights

In the darkness of space, strange lights can seem to mean something ominous. During a spacewalk on the International Space Station in 2005, ISS commander Leroy Chiao was stunned to see five lights zooming past. He and cosmonaut Salizhan Sharipov were installing navigation antennas as the station travelled 230 miles above Earth at over 17,000 miles per hour. The lights seemed to be flying in formation. Chiao now believes the lights were fishing vessels off the South American coast. But we’re betting he needed a new spacesuit when he got back inside.

#7: Space Snake

It sounds like a bad sequel: snakes in space. But NASA astronaut Story Musgrave swears up and down that he twice saw a strange, serpentine shape following his ship as it tumbled through space. He called it his “eel”. As the ship drifted through the immense unknown, the “eel” or “snake” undulated with it, looking like a rubber piece of hose, but moving under the force of “internal motion”. Some have speculated it was just debris, but Musgrave, at least, is sure he saw something more.

#6: Dancing Fairies

During the first mission to land a man on the moon, a crewmember reported seeing dazzling flashes of light in space. Similar reports came back from both Apollo 12 and 13. The lights were bright streaks that the astronauts could see even with their eyes closed. NASA astronaut Don Pettit has compared these lights to “luminous dancing fairies,” visible as one drifts off to sleep. Scientists believe the flashes are cosmic rays, high-energy particles produced by exploding stars. Fortunately, Earth’s atmosphere absorbs them; but in space, they cause the rods and cones of the eye to fire, creating the eerie flash.

#5: The Face on Mars

Sometimes, images of space capture the unexpected. Case in point: a giant face on Mars, staring up from the red dust in a region called Cydonia. It isn’t the only spooky photo that’s been taken in space; the so-called “Hand of God” nebula and “Eye of Sauron” black hole have also captured public imagination. But none quite like the “Face on Mars”, photographed by Viking 1 in 1976, which some people claimed was a Martian monument from a vanished extraterrestrial civilization. More difficult to explain are “Happy Face Crater” and Kermit the Frog. More recent images suggest the face was an optical illusion; but stare into those eyes and try not to shiver.

#4: Have A Cigar

For Soviet cosmonaut Musa Manarov, it was just another day at work. From the Mir space station, he was filming a cargo spacecraft as it approached and prepared to dock. But then something caught his eye: a cigar-shaped object spinning through space, seeming to rotate and move downward as he watched. In space it’s difficult to discern distances and sizes, but Manarov has said it seemed far away, behind the capsule. He’s also sure it was more than just debris. But sometimes a cigar is just a cigar . . .

#3: Otherworldly Music on Apollo 10

It was 1969, and space was the new frontier. American astronauts Thomas Stafford, John Young, and Eugene Cernan were orbiting the dark side of the moon on Apollo 10, a mission designed as a dry run for the first moon landing. Cut off from contact with Earth, with the moon blocking their sight of home, they were awed to hear an ethereal whistling through their headsets that sounded like “outer-space-type music”. For a full hour. It’s since been explained as interference between VHF radios on the lunar and command modules, but who knows? Maybe ET was phoning home.

#2: A Rapping, Rapping At The Spaceship Door

A knock on the door is the last thing you expect in the infinite silence of space. But as Chinese astronaut Yang Liwei sat aboard the Shenzhou 5 in 2003, there came a tapping on the spacecraft’s walls. No one knows what it was because, well, he didn’t open the door to find out. But the same sound was also heard on later missions. Realistically, it probably wasn’t an otherworldly neighbour asking to borrow the salt. But hearing a loud banging noise while you’re in a metal tube floating through the vastness of space has to be pretty creepy in any circumstances.


#1: Golden Spheres

On orbital station Salyut 6 in 1981, Soviet cosmonaut Vladimir Kovalyonok was just going through his exercise regime when he spotted something through the porthole. It was an elliptical object moving along with his station through space, but in a way that seemed to defy the laws of physics. As he watched, it exploded in golden light, and after a second explosion, two golden spheres appeared. He saw white smoke and a sphere like a cloud before losing sight of it, as the station entered the darkness of Earth’s shadow. Kovalyonok’s stoic, matter-of-fact description is what really makes this one . . . intriguing.
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