Beijing residents were worried when they looked up into the sky and saw a mushroom cloud that resembled an atomic bomb explosion, sparking fears that a cataclysmic event was underway.
To many, it would seem as if the country was at war, or that the world was coming to an end as so many religions predicted in their own Armageddon way.
The giant cumulonimbus — which spanned several miles — was accompanied by lightning, swallowing up the capital’s skyline for an hour, according to local reports.
Photographers and videographers captured images of the ominous-looking formation, which “gradually took the shape of an explosion from an atomic bomb.”
According to the National Center for Atmospheric Research, a giant cumulonimbus is a thunderstorm cloud that forms from a towering cumulus, which “resembles the head of a cauliflower.”
To the untrained eye, it could have been the first signal of the end of the world as nuclear war broke out.
The formation is thought to have been a giant cumulonimbus – a towering vertical cloud which is typically associated with thunderstorms.
This cloud had everyone fooled, with its huge anvil shape, dominating the skyline over Beijing.