This morning, at around 1:30 am when most of us were lying in bed, some mysterious lights appeared over Montreal.

Several bright beams of light could be seen shooting up into the night's sky. They looked eerily similar to the light beams Montreal installs on Mount Royal in memory of the Polytechnique Massacre.

But what exactly are they? 

READ ALSO: Quebec Hockey Players Get Into Savage Fight With Spectators (Video)

Turns out these were natural lightbeams caused by a phenomenon similar to northern lights. 

They're called light pillars. It's an "atmospheric optical phenomenon" that creates vertical bands of light that extend into the sky.

The effect is created when city lights are reflected by tiny ice crystals suspended in the atmosphere. 

The result is absolutely breathtaking though these photos aren't nearly as spectacular as seeing the real thing. 

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