Blood red sky in China: what caused Zhoushan’s city skies to turn red, meaning and apocalypse fears explained

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The sky in the Chinese city of Zhoushan turned blood red sparking fears across social media

The sky in the Chinese city of Zhoushan has turned blood red, in what some residents have been dubbing “the apocalypse.”

Over the past few days people have taken to social media to share the eerie phenomenon, with videos of the night sky getting over 150 million views.

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Experts have claimed that there is a valid reason, but there is still much speculation on the cause of the incident.

Here’s everything you need to know about what caused the blood red sky in China.

Where is Zhoushan?

Zhoushan is a port city located south of China’s largest city Shanghai, on the coast of the East China Sea.

With a population of 1.1 million people, it is home to the largest fishery in China and is connected to the mainland by five bridges.

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When did the sky turn red in China?

Blood red sky in China for the 2008 Beijing Olympics (Pic: Getty Images)Blood red sky in China for the 2008 Beijing Olympics (Pic: Getty Images)
Blood red sky in China for the 2008 Beijing Olympics (Pic: Getty Images) | Getty Images

Citizens of Zhoushan started to report the sky turning red on 8 May.

They shared photos and images of the occurrance on Chinese social media platform Weibo, with one resident joking that “it seems that the apocalypse has begun”.

What caused the blood red sky in China?

Experts have claimed that there is a simple explanation for the phenomenon, but this hasn’t stopped other theories from developing.

According to the Global Times, a Chinese media outlet, the red sky was caused by wet and foggy weather conditions reflecting the red lights of fishing ships.

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Fishing boats in Zhoushan often use hundreds of red-coloured LED lights at night, for visibility.

The Global Times spoke with meteorologists who confirmed that under certain conditions the lights could “refract and scatter” due to aerosols in the atmosphere.

Speaking to the Global Times, 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.”

Another theory proposed the possibility of it being caused by a solar flare, but according to the Global Times the solar and geomatic activity was calm when the event occurred.

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It’s also been proposed that wildfires could have been behind it, with similar scenes witnessed during wildfires in Indonesia in 2019, however no fires have been reported.

Have there been red skies like this in China before?

Similar phenomenons have happened in China.

According to Live Science a geomagnetic storm caused blood red skies over China, Korea and Japan in 1770.

Historians who have researched the event discovered the red sky lasted for a week.

What are people saying on social media?

People flocked to social media to share videos and images of the event.

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Videos posted to the social media platform Douyin, which is similar to TikTok, show a blood red sky, thick with fog, descending on the city.

People have been likening the event to the apocalypse, with one Twitter user tweeting: “The sky over the Chinese city of Zhoushan, near Shanghai turned blood red tonight. I’m sure this is totally normal and not a harbinger of the apocalypse. Right?”

Red skies are referenced in the Bible’s Book of Revelations, which predicts the apocalypse.

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