In Brief

Record-breaking nine-hour rainbow appears in Taiwan

Chou Kun-hsuan of Chinese Culture University claims phenomenon beats six-hour rainbow seen in Sheffield in 1994

Scientists in Taiwan claim to have witnessed the longest-ever visible rainbow.

The rainbow arched over northern Taiwan for nearly nine hours - eight hours and 58 minutes, to be exact - making it the longest-lasting rainbow on record, according to students and staff of Chinese Culture University.

“It was amazing… It felt like a gift from the sky… It’s so rare,” Chou Kun-hsuan, a professor in the university's department of atmospheric sciences who helped lead the efforts to document the rainbow told the BBC. “When we broke the previous record after passing six hours, I was hardly able to stay seated for lunch.”

“I was so excited; I wanted to make sure we captured the rainbow. But then it did something even more incredible; it went on to beat the previous record by another three hours!”

The professors and the department were ready to capture the rainbow because they had recorded a rainbow lasting about six hours the previous Monday, Prof Chou said.

“A combination of a seasonal monsoons trapping moist air, a lack of strong winds and a partially cloudy sky allowed for the rainbow to be visible for such a long time,” explains The Guardian.

“The moisture formed clouds and caused a steady stream of rain, but there was still plenty of sunshine. Sunlight passing through rain and moisture in the air create the phenomenon, but only when viewed from the correct angle.”

Chou plans to apply to Guinness World Records for the world’s longest visible rainbow. The previous record holder was seen for six hours above Sheffield, UK, in 1994.

“With the 10,000 pictures we took in our department alone, and the many more taken by others on campus and people living nearby, I’m confident we can prove to Guinness second by second that this rainbow lasted for nine hours,” Chou said.

He added: "I plan to contact the Taipei City tourism department to promote this, ‘you can see a nine-hour rainbow in Taipei in the winter, it's amazing! Come to Taipei!’”

Recommended

What would happen if China tried to invade Taiwan?
Chinese troops on mobile rocket launchers during a parade in Beijing
Fact file

What would happen if China tried to invade Taiwan?

What has the UK learned about Omicron from South Africa?
Possible Covid-19 patient at Steve Biko Academic Hospital
Today’s big question

What has the UK learned about Omicron from South Africa?

Boss fires 900 people in Zoom call
A laptop computer
Tall Tales

Boss fires 900 people in Zoom call

‘Afghans left to die in Kabul’
Today's newspaper front pages
Today’s newspapers

‘Afghans left to die in Kabul’

Popular articles

Is World War Three looming?
Xi Jinping
In Depth

Is World War Three looming?

Is Boris Johnson’s authority ‘evaporating’?
Boris Johnson
Behind the scenes

Is Boris Johnson’s authority ‘evaporating’?

Vladimir Putin and his mysterious love life
Vladimir Putin and his now ex-wife Lyudmila Putina
Profile

Vladimir Putin and his mysterious love life

The Week Footer Banner