But the phenomenon has never been really fully explained and there hasn't been any scientific report or study into it or whether it exists or not.
New Zealand photo historian Tony Brunt is trying to get serious scientific interest in the phenomenon.
"Plenty of people have seen it, not just Pacific navigators," he told Pacific Beat.
Mr Brunt described Te Lapa as looking like lightning under the water.
"It's quite directional, it appears to come exclusively from lands or reefs so it's a potential guide for navigation," he said.