Students and teachers at one Taiwan university received a pleasant surprise last week when a beautiful rainbow appeared above campus and decided to stick around for awhile.
The rainbow was recorded by a pair of atmospheric science professors, Chou Kun-hsuan and Liu Ching-huang, at the Chinese Culture University, located on Yang Ming Mountain in the outskirts of Taipei. According to their observations, the rainbow appeared at 6:57 am on the morning of November 30th and stayed in the sky until 3:55 pm that afternoon, lasting for a grand total of 8 hours and 58 minutes.
If confirmed, this would smash the current world record for the longest-lasting rainbow, set at a mere 6 hours in Yorkshire, England in 1994.
“It felt like a gift from the sky,” the BBC quotes Professor Chou as saying.
Professor Chou has added that he plans to soon submit evidence to Guinness to make this Taiwan rainbow officially number one. Students at the university were enlisted to help document the rainbow (though presumably they would have done so anyway), giving his department upwards of 10,000 pictures as proof. You can check out some of the photos on the school’s Facebook page:
As for how exactly a nearly 9-hour rainbow could occur, Professor Chou explains that a seasonal monsoon blowing in from the northeast had trapped moisture in the air, thus creating the perfect conditions for the appearance of rainbows.
However, considering China’s unquenchable thirst for world records, if these conditions can be replicated through human weather modification, we don’t see Taiwan’s rainbow record lasting long.