Record-breaking rainbow in Taiwan lasts for 9 awesome hours

Chou Kun-hsuan (周昆炫), a professor with the Department of Atmospheric Science at Chinese Culture University in Taipei, said the department is trying to collect at least 36,000 photos from the public to document the rainbow's existence from 6:57 3:55 p.m. on November 30.

The rainbow lasted three hours longer than the previous record of six hours, which was set in Yorkshire in 1994.

A continuous rainbow was spotted over the capital city Taipei last week - beating a six hour display which was witnessed in Sheffield two decades ago.

Students and teachers at one Taiwan university received a pleasant surprise last week when a attractive rainbow appeared above campus and made a decision to stick around for awhile.

A rainbow arched over northern Taiwan for nearly nine hours last week, potentially making it the longest lasting recorded example of the natural phenomenon in history. "I was so excited".

Rainbow appeared in the sky at 6:57 a.m. and disappeared at 15:55.

"It was unbelievable... it felt like a gift from the sky... it's so rare!"

"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", Prof Chou said.

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.

These conditions happened perfectly at the university, where it is now winter but the moisture is trapped in the air where it can form clouds long enough for the sun to make it out and into the water vapor. On Monday Nov. 27, the professors had a preview of what was to come when they recorded a rainbow that lasted six hours.

Chou said such atmospheric condition are quite normal in winter in Taipei's Yangmingshan mountain range, where the campus is located. That makes it an ideal place to spot long-lasting rainbows, Kun-hsuan said.

Vanessa Coleman