The people of Zhoushan city in China witnessed mysterious blood red skies over the weekend leading to panic among the residents. Videos show the sky over the port city in crimson color along with thick layers of fog. Reports suggest the sky was the reddest towards the port areas. Global Times reported people recorded the skies turning crimson red, from their houses, balconies, and streets. The videos and photos of the phenomenon went viral with more than 150 million views on Chinese social media platforms Sina and Weibo. Many of the users termed the phenomenon a bad omen over the Chinese government’s handling of the Covid-19 in the country.
“I have never seen anything like this before. It really amazes me that the sky can even turn red,” a user said, as reported by Global Times.
As the videos went viral and widespread panic hit the people of the city, television and media outlets explained that the blood-red sky was the result of natural light refraction and not a man-made effect. According to the report, the Zhoushan Meteorological Bureau explained, “When weather conditions are good, more water in the atmosphere forms aerosols which refract and scatter the light of fishing boats and create the red sky seen by the public.”
The city’s local media reported that the red sky might have been due to the refraction of the red light coming from a fishing boat harvesting Pacific saury.
While people compared the event to a 1770 incident where the sky turned red for nine days due to a massive solar activity as claimed by Japanese scientists in a 2017 research article, an expert from the space physics research team of China University of Geosciences in Wuhan told the media that no anomaly in solar activity was observed and the two events were independent of each other.
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