Can you see the northern lights in L.A.? Don’t fall for this April Fools’ joke

A tent glows orange beneath a sky filled with green aurora borealis
Tent camping under northern lights at Tombstone Territorial Park in Canada’s Yukon, a better place to catch a glimpse of the natural phenomenon.
(Piriya Photography/Getty Images)

Will sapphire blue and electric green light swirl over the U.S. Bank Tower and the rest of the downtown L.A. skyline tonight?

A prominent Instagram account, with nearly a million followers, claimed the northern lights “will glow strongly enough to be seen dancing above Los Angeles this evening,” in a post published on Friday morning.

The post on the account @losangelesbucketlist went on to say, “LA will issue a city ordinance for the skyline to shut off its nonessential lights at 11:50pm exactly.”


If you think L.A. is about to be graced by the wonder of the aurora borealis — usually seen in far northern destinations such as Alaska and Norway — check your calendar.

As many Instagram users realized, the post was a prank in honor of April Fools’ Day. “Y’all had me for a second,” one user commented, while another said, “I hate that this is a joke.”

Angelenos aren’t the only ones getting fooled by Bucket Listers, which runs @losangelesbucketlist. Similar posts were blasted out to the brand’s other accounts, including @chicagobucketlist, @nybucketlist and @miamibucketlist.

Bucket Listers owns up to the joke at the bottom of an article on its website, which it links to in its Instagram bio. “This entire article is an April Fools’ joke. But, you never know!” Bucket Listers writes.

The Los Angeles Bucket List post mentions “a Griffith Observatory live stream” of the northern lights. This, of course, isn’t in the works.

“I can say with authority that we have no such livestream planned,” Mark Pine, deputy director of Griffith Observatory, wrote via email. “If something like this was really going to be visible, Griffith Observatory would definitely be promoting it.”

However, if the joke has left you wishing for a glimpse into the cosmos, Pine has good news: “We DO have our monthly All Space Considered broadcast this evening at 7:30 p.m.”