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Featured Image Credit: Douzin/zsgd93. Instagram/sahinozkahn
Strange weather patterns have caused panic in China after the sky was glowing a menacing red.
Some feared there was an out-of-control fire raging nearby, whereas others simply assumed it was heralding the apocalypse. Because, duh.
Meteorologists in Zhoushan, in East China, scrambled to figure out what was causing the the scary-looking scarlet sky.
They came up with a far more boring answer than listed above.
It wasn't armageddon, the work of the devil, or the Scarlet Witch. It wasn't even fire related.
Apparently the creepy glowing sky was actually a unique combination of very low hanging cloud paired with light refraction from the local harbour.
"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 meteorological bureau told Chinese publication the Global Times.
Despite it being debunked that Satan was not actually knocking about in eastern China, videos and photographs of the wild phenomena continued to surface online and were soon trending.
In less than 24 hours, 150 million viewers had seen the videos and photos across Chinese social media, according to the Daily Mail.
One said they had never seen anything as eerie as this: "I have never seen anything like this before. It really amazes me that the sky can even turn red."
A second added: "It is a blood-red colour, that doesn't look good at all."
Blood Red Sky: Fear of Apocalypse Spreads in Chinese City— John Paul (@JohnPau48768589) May 9, 2022
Footage from the port-city of Zhoushan near Shanghai shows the sky turned blood-red under thick layers of fog.
Local residents panicked that the end of days had arrived, and called the red sky a bad omen for China pic.twitter.com/N13B5Pm0Me
A third made a pretty grim prediction for what it could mean: "There's gonna be an earthquake in seven days, it's not normal to see the sky turning all red."
Some web sleuths took the chance to point out that this has happened before, for nine days in 1770.
While this wild weather pattern was thought lost to the sands of time, scientists now believe that what happened three centuries ago was due to a high level of aurora activity.
According to LiveScience, experts scoured hundreds of historical documents to discover evidence of the odd, red auroras seen throughout East Asia in 1770.
An expert from the space physics research team of the China University of Geosciences in Wuhan told media that there were no solar and geomagnetic anomalies on the night in Zhoushan.
Thankfully, the strange lighting was due to an even more pedestrian cause - a boat harvesting harvesting Pacific saury (a type of fish) nearby, according to the Global Times.