01/13/2017 12:06 EST

Light Pillar Photos Show Colourful Beams In North Bay, Ont. Sky

It’s not the northern lights, but the light show a North Bay, Ont. man captured last week may be equally as beautiful.

Timmy Joe Elzinga and his wife got quite the treat when he spotted colourful beams of light appearing on the horizon.

light pillars

If Timmy Joe Elzinga hadn't woken up to soothe his two-year-old son early in the morning of Jan. 6, he might never have spotted this. (Photo: Timmy Joe Elzinga)

Called light pillars, the phenomenon occurs when flat ice crystals hovering close to the ground are illuminated by natural or artificial light, according to National Geographic.

And Elzinga was lucky to see them. He told The Huffington Post Canada in an email that he woke up at 1:30 a.m. on a chilly Jan. 6 to soothe his toddler when he spotted the beams of light flashing in the bathroom.

light pillars

Light pillars occur when light bounces off of flat ice crystals hovering close to the ground. (Photo: Timmy Joe Elzinga)

"I was freaking out,” he said. His wife then came to take a look.

He initially thought he was viewing the northern lights but soon realized that the phenomenon was more localized to his area, and after doing some research, discovered they were light pillars.

The beams seemed to be coming from the ground in several spots, he said.

light pillars

Now, are aliens using these beams to abduct humans or not? (Photo: Timmy Joe Elzinga)

The stunning images were captured through his bathroom window and front yard. The ones from the window were taken at high, medium and low exposure.

He said in a YouTube video from that night that he'd never spotted anything quite like it before.

He said he’s been blown away by the reaction.

light pillars

A view from further away. (Photo: Timmy Joe Elzinga)

"Everything from references to Star Trek to people actually kind of sad that there was a science behind it," he told HuffPost.

"One woman commented she wished it was supernatural and unexplainable."

Also on HuffPost

Northern Lights In Canada