Chinese port-city Zhoushan’s sky turns blood-red, triggering panic

Residents in China’s eastern port city of Zhoushan were left stunned as the skies above turned red briefly over the the weekend, sparking worries of a possible fire or an unknown phenomenon.

However, meteorological experts quickly concluded that it came from lights refracted from local boats in low clouds in the region, according to reports.

The lights turning the sky crimson were coming from a fishing boat that was harvesting Pacific saury fishes, said China Aquatic Products Zhoushan Marine Fisheries Co, which owned the boat present in the water, according to a report by Global Times.

Officials in the area also confirmed that no fire was reported in the port city around the time skies turned red.

According to the experts, the weather in Zhoushan 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.

A member from the meteorological bureau explained that when weather conditions are good, it leads to formation of more water in the atmosphere. This forms aerosols which then refract and scatter the light of fishing boats and create the red sky seen by the public," the official said, the report added.

Videos and photos shared by locals showed the vast sky in scarlet red as many stepped outside their house to witness the first ever such moment in the district.

The red sky chatter became one of the top trending topics on social media in China — Weibo — with more than 150 million views on it.

"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," said the staff of the meteorological bureau.

Experts have also clarified that no geomagnetic and solar activity could have been a possible reason behind the Zhoushan sky turning red.

The solar and geomagnetic activity, which could lead to 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, an expert from the space physics research team of the China University of Geosciences in Wuhan said, according to the report.