- A rainbow arched over Taiwan for almost nine hours last week.
- If confirmed, it would be the world’s longest-lasting rainbow.
- The previous record was set in 1994, when a rainbow curved over Sheffield, UK, for six hours.
A rainbow arched over northern Taiwan for almost nine hours last week, potentially making it the longest lasting recorded example of the natural phenomenon in history.
The rainbow, which curved over Taipei last Thursday, lasted from 6.57 a.m. to 3.55 p.m., professors at the nearby Chinese Culture University said. That’s eight hours and 58 minutes.
Rainbows, which are formed after sunlight is scattered after rainfall, typically last up to an hour, the BBC said.
The rainbow took on various shapes and forms as the day went on, as these two timelapse videos (taken from different angles) show:
If confirmed, the duration of Thursday’s rainbow breaks the previous world record for the longest-lasting rainbow – seen over Sheffield, UK, from around 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. in March 1994.
A seasonal monsoon, slow wind speed, and sunlight sparked last Thursday’s phenomenon, national newspaper Taiwan News reported. Professors at the Chinese Culture University had already captured another rainbow, which lasted six hours, the Monday before.
Chou Kun Hsuan, one of the professors who recorded the rainbow, said, according to the BBC: “When we broke the previous record after passing six hours, I was hardly able to stay seated for lunch; it was around lunchtime.
“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!”
He added: “It felt like a gift from the sky… It’s so rare!”
The university has since posted a bulletin asking students and staff to send in photos to prove to the Guinness World Records that they had broken a new world record.