Thousands witness mysterious 'floating city' in Jiangxi and Foshan

By Matthew Bossons, October 20, 2015

2 0

Imaginations are running in overdrive in Jiangxi and Foshan (and around the world for that matter), after thousands of residents reported seeing a ‘floating city’ hovering in the sky earlier this month. 

Numerous images have surfaced, along with a grainy video, showing shadowy skyscrapers standing ominously in the clouds. Suggested explanations have so far included a dimensional rip, an anomaly in space time, a matrix glitch and a mysterious new world order project being conducted by NASA (conspiracy fans Google ‘blue beam project’ for more info).

Floating city on Chinese news.

Unfortunately for conspiracy theorists (and thankfully for those of us who prefer a scientific explanation), it appears the ‘sky city’ was nothing more than a rare type of optical illusion called Fata Morgana, according to IFL Science. This unique mirage is caused when specific weather conditions bend light rays to create the appearance of long rectangular objects and other similar shapes. 

According to Wired, Fata Morgana appears when the sun warms up a layer of the atmosphere while the layer below it remains cool. When there is a temperature variation between different layers of atmosphere, it causes a temperature gradient. The difference in temperature also equates to different densities between atmospheric layers. 

When light passes through the boundary between two different atmospheric densities, it is refracted (or bent) and changes direction. 

Light bend by different atmospheric densities creates this illusion.

While the human brain has a difficult time accounting for the sudden change in light direction, it has no problem dreaming up outlandish explanations – some involving doomsday scenarios – to justify the rare visual trickery.

According to IFL Science, Fata Morgana is thought to be the culprit behind a number of obscure aerial sightings, including the legendary Flying Dutchmen. 

Case closed.


[The above video requires a VPN]

MORE MYSTERIOUS READING: Tales from the Chinese Crypt: 5 strange cryptids 

[Images via]

more news

Imperial Pets: Furry Friends in the Forbidden City

Giraffes, lions, leopards, ostriches and zebras oh my!

Flights Canceled & City in Lockdown as Typhoon Hits South China

Fujian Province on the South China coast is expected to be worst hit by Typhoon Dussuri.

Culture City: 21 Awesome Exhibitions in the GBA

Some great exhibitions in this great part of China!

Check Out This Unique City Bike Shop!

Electra's new flagship store in Shanghai officially opens.

523 COVID Cases in Guangzhou, 99 in Foshan and 30 in Shenzhen

The situation doesn't look good for Guangzhou...

0 User Comments

In Case You Missed It…

We're on WeChat!

Scan our QR Code at right or follow us at thatsonline for events, guides, giveaways and much more!

7 Days in China With

Weekly updates to your email inbox every Wednesday

Download previous issues

Never miss an issue of That's Magazines!

Visit the archives