Videos from the Chinese port-city of Zhoushan adjoining Shanghai have been popping up showing the sky turned deep blood red under layers of thick haze.
Chaos could be heard in the voices of the inhabitants as they recorded the stained skyline, stirring apocalyptic fears. The red sky turned viral on China’s Twitter-like social media, Sina Weibo, gaining over 150 million views.
One user said it signifies: ‘Accidents will happen’, with another adding. ‘I started to stock up on supplies.’
The crimson sky was generally noticeable by the port, inciting stresses that a fire had grown out of control. On Douyin, China’s rendition of Tiktok, clients called the red sky a terrible sign over China’s handling of the covid pandemic, resurgent in the Shanghai area.
However, the local media made sense of the weird climate phenomena saying it was not a sign of impending doom but rather a result of light refraction.
“When weather conditions are good, more water in the atmosphere forms aerosols which refract and scatter the light off fishing boats and create the red sky seen by the public,” said the staff of the Zhoushan Meteorological Bureau, according to the Global Times.
The lighting might have come from a fishing boat that was collecting Pacific saury, as per local media quoting China Aquatic Products Zhoushan Marine Fisheries Co, who owns the boat.
Online detectives said particulate matter from the 2022 Tonga Volcanic Eruption, which was the largest volcanic blast in the 21st century up until this point, could also be the reason for the so-called light refraction.
Historians recently uncovered archives from 1770 from China, Japan and Korea, where onlookers reported the skies turning a sinister red. Analysts told Live Science that geomagnetic storms, brought on by the sun having solar eruptions are hitting the earth’s magnetosphere, and this could have caused the event.
Chinese state media said sun powered and geomagnetic action on Saturday was quiet and calm with no significant oddities in solar activity, undermining the idea that a geomagnetic and sun-based tempest could have turned the sky red in Zhoushan.
During the Carrington event of 1859, the most extreme geomagnetic storm recorded ever, electric currents flowed in the atmosphere zapping broadcast wires and causing paper burst into flames.
A comparative geomagnetic storm today would damage power grids all around the globe, leaving millions without power or light. Read more