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What was that mysterious vertical red light in the Houston sky?

The light was seen mostly by folks on the east side of town.

HOUSTON — Did you see the weird red light in the Houston sky on Wednesday night?

You're not alone. KHOU 11 News was inundated with videos and photos from viewers asking what it was.

The answer? We don't know.

What we do know is we started getting reports of the light at about 8:30 p.m. Wednesday. As of 9:15 p.m., the light appeared to be gone.

Most of the reports came in from the east side of town. We got reports from Friendswood, League City, Santa Fe and other surrounding areas.

KHOU 11 Meteorologist Tim Pandajis said the light could be flaring from one of the nearby refineries, but the light appeared to be at high altitude, so it's not clear if that's the case.

For what it's worth, we did get a message from a LyondellBasell plant in La Porte saying the plant was undergoing activities that would result in periodic flaring.

"You may notice a bright orange flame, black smoke or a rumbling noise," the message said. "There is no danger to our community or workers ... no need to take any action. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause."

Pandajis and Chief Meteorologist David Paul both said the clouds were very reflective on Wednesday night, so the light very well could have been from the flaring.

Pandajis also said the light resembled something called a red sprite. The problem with that theory is that red sprites usually appear in groups and are usually positioned over active thunderstorms. He said that's likely not the case with this light.

Here are some of the videos and photos we received from viewers through the Near Me feature of the KHOU 11 News app:

Credit: J Harris
Credit: J Harris
Credit: Jessica
Credit: Jessica