A peculiar phenomenon in the skies of China's port city of Zhoushan last Saturday and an upcoming "super flower blood moon" in the U.S. have sparked online discussions about end-times Biblical prophecies.
Video footage of the blood-red sky was posted online by Zhoushan residents, many of whom can be heard in the videos sounding fearful and panicked. As reported by The Daily Mail, the phenomenon was trending on Sina Weibo, one of China's biggest social media platforms, drawing in over 150 million views.
Blood Red Sky: Fear of Apocalypse Spreads in Chinese City— John Paul (@JohnPau48768589) May 9, 2022
Footage from the port-city of Zhoushan near Shanghai shows the sky turned blood-red under thick layers of fog.
Local residents panicked that the end of days had arrived, and called the red sky a bad omen for China pic.twitter.com/N13B5Pm0Me
Users on China's version of TikTok claimed that the foggy red sky was a bad omen for the nation because of its handling of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Others, however, believed that the crimson-covered sky was the result of a particulate matter that was still airborne from the eruption of the underwater volcano Tonga in January. As per NASA, the effects of the volcanic eruption reached as far as space.
Chinese local media later reported, however, that the aerial spectacle was the result of lights coming from ships that were docked in the city's port.
"When weather conditions are good, more water in the atmosphere forms aerosols which refract and scatter the light of fishing boats and create the red sky seen by the public," the staff of the Zhoushan Meteorological Bureau said, according to The Global Times.
In a video posted by a user further away from the port, the red sky only covered the section underneath the fog layer rather than the whole city.
#BREAKING #CHINA— loveworld (@LoveWorld_Peopl) May 8, 2022
🔴CHINA :#VIDEO STRANGE RED SKY OVER ZHOUSHAN, ZHEJIANG PROVINCE!
The meteorological bureau of #Zhoushan said on Sunday that the red sky that appeared was caused by the refraction and scattering of light most likely from ship lights in the port#Flash #RedSky pic.twitter.com/8YOZvPcHla
Last Saturday's incident sparked end times discussions from commentators in Israel who were reminded of a Bible verse in the book of Joel that says there will be "blood and fire and pillars of smoke" in the skies before the "day of Hashem."
"Before the great and terrible day of Hashem comes, I will set portents in the sky and on earth: Blood and fire and pillars of smoke; The sun shall turn into darkness, and the moon into blood," Joel 3:3-4 reads.
An upcoming total lunar eclipse also brings up discussions of the end times. On May 15-16, a full moon will appear red in North and South America, Europe and Africa. The celestial event is called a super flower blood moon total lunar eclipse.
According to NASA, blood moons occur during total lunar eclipses when the Earth is situated directly between the moon and sun, blocking the moon from the sun's light. The moon turns red during totality because the sun's light bends around the Earth, and red wavelengths filter through the Earth's atmosphere onto the moon's surface.
The same effect can be seen when the sky appears reddish-orange during sunrises and sunsets.
Several Scriptures across the Bible speak of blood moons in light of the end of the world and Christ's return, CBN News reports.
"The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and terrible day of the Lord comes," Joel 2:31 states.
"The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and notable day of the Lord come," Acts 2:20.
In the book of Revelations, the last book in the Bible, a blood moon is foretold: "And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and, lo, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood."
Photo courtesy: ©Maik Jonietz/Unsplash
Milton Quintanilla is a freelance writer and content creator. He is a contributing writer for Christian Headlines and the host of the For Your Soul Podcast, a podcast devoted to sound doctrine and biblical truth. He holds a Masters of Divinity from Alliance Theological Seminary.