Three Suns and Rainbows Prompt Chinese Fears of Apocalypse

The solar halo in the sky.

The solar halo in the sky.

From NetEase:

“3 Suns” Illusion Appears in Shanghai

December 10 morning, parts of Shanghai and Jiangsu province witnessed a rare “3 suns” visual illusion, drawing the interest of many city residents and netizens. Regarding this, the Shanghai Meteorological Bureau explained that these were solar halo and sun dog meteorological phenomenon. Additionally, experts explained that they were normal atmospheric optical phenomenon, and had nothing to do with the “apocalypse”.

The solar halo in the sky.

A rare atmospheric phenomenon in Shanghai, where it looks like there are 3 suns in the sky and a rainbow at the same time.

The solar halo in the sky.

The solar halo in the sky.

At about 8am, a magical solar halo phenomenon appeared in the sky in Shanghai.

The upside down rainbow.

The upside down rainbow.

The solar halo and the upside down rainbow.

The solar halo and the upside down rainbow.

Two bright spots appearing around the sun look like two smaller suns, while a colorful rainbow appears in the blue sky above.

Picture is of the sky of Suzhou taken by a netizen.

Picture is of the sky over Suzhou taken by a netizen.

The solar halo in the sky.

The solar halo in the sky.

The solar halo in the sky.

The solar halo in the sky.

The solar halo in the sky.

The solar halo in the sky.

The solar halo in the sky.

Comments from NetEase:

单位不为员工缴纳公积金 [网易上海市杨浦区网友]:

2012 is near, could it really be the [end] of the world?

你猜猴子爱吃啥 [网易广东省广州市网友]:

Is it really going to be the end of the world? Let it be the end of the world then, let it be the end of the world. Those who want it to be the end of the world, ding. [3,591 upvotes at time of translation]

XiangYaDao公共账户 [网易上海市长宁区网友]:

Fuck, three suns in a day, fuck! [The original Chinese could be considered a series of puns.]

谎言帝国 [网易广东省深圳市网友]:

Shanghai doesn’t count, three suns appearing in Beijing is the spectacle that the ordinary common people like seeing.

黄易精神病院林院长 [网易广西玉林市手机网友]:

Only SB would see it as three suns.

鸡肉味儿嘎嘣脆 [网易四川省成都市网友]:

An ill omen!!!

Comments from Sina Weibo:


Dear, three suns appeared yesterday… the world is going to end… How about we be together? 嘻嘻嘻嘻哈哈哈哈@苏-苏雨培


Completely not awake yet… After arriving at the office, I saw many rumors about the end of the world. At some places people saw three suns, and an upside-down rainbow. Then some experts showed up and said a lot of crap to refute those rumors… There’s only one thing I’m concerned about. Before the world ends, can I fucking get my salary?


“Three suns” freaked me out, then I saw the pictures, and damn~ isn’t it just a solar halo? I’ve photographed them 3 or 4 times already. Had I known they’d cause such a sensation, I’d have posted them earlier. Good morning, Sun.


The news says three suns have appeared in Shanghai and Jiangsu, is it true or not? So scary, the end of the world. 生病生病生病


People are talking about the three suns appearing in the sky incident that happened yesterday, and suddenly a colleague asks: Since there were three suns in the sky yesterday, why was it still so cold!


The ground temperature rises and water vapor gathers, one sun is reflected into three. If it’s not because the local people are passionate, then it’s because a subterranean flow is swarming underground—the volcano is going to explode!


Three suns appeared in many places throughout Jiangsu, and an upside down rainbow appeared in Nanjing. How come I didn’t see them? So sad. Even though scientists have come out and explained them from a scientific way, netizens are again hyping it as the apocalypse, faint, such a coincidence, appearing in 2012. *Cry*, please don’t be the end of the world. 泪


As soon as my daughter saw me yesterday, she told me about seeing three suns, that her whole class stopped during the middle of their calisthenics with their heads all turned up to look at the sky.


What do we do? On the internet, it says that there are three suns!!! Seems like I really won’t be surviving until next year…


Three suns have appeared side-by-side in Shanghai, is this some kind of a sign? Traditional Chinese culture emphasizes the interaction between heaven and mankind. I hope the highest powers [the government] will take note!


It’s the end of the world, it really is the end of the world! Better make arrangements and get together! Three suns have even appeared!


Regarding the three suns incident, experts have already come out and refuted the rumors saying “it’s a normal optical phenomenon, has nothing to do with the apocalypse”. Everybody can pack your book bags and start running.


Do three suns have anything to do with the end of the world? Is the world really going to end like this? Actually, I’m really not afraid of dying. Let the end of the word come more fiercely.


Dear, three suns have already appeared in the sky, and rainbows are even hanging upside down. Those who still have money in the bank better hurry and spend it all. 挖鼻屎


“Three suns, light up the East. The corrupted, there is nowhere to hide. Confess your sins, hand over your spoils, Have a good sleep, and your wives and kids won’t panic.” This was a netizen’s reply when the news reported the appearance of three suns today. Talented people are everywhere! [The original Chinese is a rhyming poem of 4 lines with each line being composed of two sets of 4 characters.]


Three suns and rainbows hanging upside down… Experts said there weren’t going to be earthquakes but then earthquakes happened…


There are still 10 days to go before the end of the world. Are the three suns in Shanghai an omen? All my dear friends please return by the 21st. We will be together!


Since when did sun dogs become something that needed discussion… much less talking about the end of the world, your science teachers must’ve died too soon.


The earthquake happened in Japan, today the military conflict happened, just as the prophecy had predicted. In places like Shanghai and Jiangsu proving, fuck, even three suns have been spotted, and with pictures there is truth… Still I want to faintly say that they are all just coincidence. But I’m afraid not many people believe me. 555555, I don’t want to die.

[Note: in Chinese, 5 sounded like the sound of crying, so Chinese netizens often use many 5s to express crying.]


The sun dog phenomenon reminds me of the end of the world [talk] in 1999. Back then, I was in middle school. During a break between lessons, innumerable bats suddenly appeared and began to fly around a big tree on the playground. The scene was so frightening that I really thought that the end of the world was coming and my life hadn’t even began yet. [Should I] skip class? But even if I skip class, what could I really do? Look for a girlfriend? Then the school bell rang, and I obediently went back to the classroom to study. Now after going to high school, going to college, and getting a job, the end of the world is coming again.


I feel really tired. Only after seeing the news about the three suns and whatnot just now did I realize that it’s been a long time since I’ve looked up at the sky. Always busy working making a living. When it’s the time to rest, I only want to sleep, sleep till I get numb.


How should we regard three suns appearing in many places? I think they’re just an atmospheric phenomenon, caused by human environmental pollution!


In Sichuan Leshan, Jiangsu, and other places, three suns have appeared. Does this mean the end of the world is near? Why is it that I hope it’s going to be the end of the world?? Maybe I’m so depressed that I have become stupid…


Looking at the dark sky outside, and [the appearance of] three suns everywhere recently, is it really going to be a darkness for three days? If it really goes dark, then I’ll just stay in bed, sleep and play. (In fact, I want to go home.) Oh, yeah.


Experts have again come out to refute the rumors, hehe. Clearly it’s Nibiru getting closer, yet they make up stories that the appearances of three suns in many places is just a sun dog.

What do you think? What’s the “strangest” natural phenomenon you’ve personally witnessed? How did you react at the time?


Written by Peter Barefoot

Peter is a born and raised Chengdunese who enjoys drinking with all his friends.


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