In a strange incident, residents in China’s eastern port city of Zhoushan were left stunned as the skies turned red briefly over the weekend. While some feared that there was an out-of-control fire raging nearby, others simply assumed it was heralding the apocalypse.
Videos and photos shared by locals on social media platforms like Twitter showed the vast sky in red as many stepped outside their houses to witness the first-ever such moment in the district. One user said that they had never seen anything as eerie as this, while another wrote that it is a “blood-red colour, that doesn’t look good at all”. “I’m sure this is totally normal and not a harbinger of the apocalypse. Right?” wrote third on Twitter.
Blood red sky in Zhoushan舟山, China, on the evening of May 7th, a result of Rayleigh Scattering? pic.twitter.com/iGlrtN5VTq
— Tong Bingxue 仝冰雪 (@tongbingxue) May 8, 2022
According to the Independent, meteorological experts in Zhoushan scrambled to figure out what was causing the scary-looking red sky. They concluded that it came from lights refracted from local boats in low clouds in the region.
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Citing Global Times, the Independent reported that the lights turning the sky crimson were coming from a fishing boat that was harvesting Pacific saury fishes. Zhoushan officials also confirmed that no fire was reported in the port city around the time skies turned red.
Meteorological experts explained that the weather in the eastern port city was perfect for a refraction phenomenon as the sky was cloudy with drizzle which led to an unusual reddening of the sky, triggering a brief panic. They also said that when the weather conditions are good, it leads to the formation of more water in the atmosphere. This forms aerosols which then reflect and scatter the loft of fishing boats and create the red sky seen by the public, experts added.
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Moreover, they went on to clarify that no geomagnetic and solar activity could have been a possible reason behind the Zhoushan sky turning red. According to the report, they said that the solar and geomagnetic activity, which could lead to a change in colour of the skies, in the port city was calm on Saturday and no significant anomalies were reported as per the observation records.