Onlookers in the city of Fochan, in China’s Guangdong province, witnessed a bizarre sight last week when an eerie cityscape appeared to be floating among the clouds right above everyone’s heads. The strange vision reportedly lasted only a few moments before vanishing, but not before a video was captured. Potential explanations of the sight are ranging from the scientific to the downright bizarre.

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Footage of the floating city appeared on local Chinese television and, a few days later, a similar sighting took place in the city of Jiangxi. The spectacle has all kinds of people proposing all kinds of hypotheses, including a “top secret holographic” projection experiment, a momentary portal into another dimension, or an element of “Project Blue Beam”: a conspiracy theory claiming that NASA has plans to brainwash the population into a New World Order using advanced technology.

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Scientific observers are arguing a case of fata morgana, or a mirage. The phenomenon occurs at the location of a thermal inversion, or when warm air is found on top of cold air. Light rays become bent when passing through varying temperatures in this patch of air, causing the illusion. Mirages have been spotted on horizons for centuries, yet the footage provided does not quite fit the bill, seeing as it is seen much higher in the sky than typical optical illusions.

Finally, one plausible explanation is that the whole thing is a hoax. Given that there is only one video record of the event, even though it is reported that hundreds or thousands of people witnessed the event, this seems very likely. What do you think this floating city could be?

Via Gizmodo

Images via YouTube, Wikipedia