Record-breaking rainbow in Taiwan lasts for 9 fantastic hours

Chou Kun-hsuan says the iridescent phenomenon, which he caught on camera above the capital Taipei, lasted a staggering nine hours. England's Yorkshire now holds the record for the longest-lasting rainbow with an impressive six hours. Those at the university originally didn't expect the rainbow to last long, as most rainbows don't, but after four hours the professors started asking students and others at the school to start documenting it, Professor Chou told BBC.

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

Check out this incredible, record-breaking rainbow.

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

The professors are in the university's department of atmospheric sciences and enlisted the help of students and the campus community in their task, the BBC reported. "I was so excited".

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

"I'm confident we can prove to Guinness second by second that this rainbow lasted for nine hours", Kun-hsuan said. The department captured 10,000 photos, in addition to thousands more collected by volunteers, which let them build a second-by-second record to show the rainbow's duration. On 27 November, they even had a preview of what was to come when they recorded a rainbow that lasted six hours.

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.

Ultimately, Chou said, he hoped to introduce Taipei as a "rainbow city" to the world because weather conditions and the terrain are ideal for rainbows to form around the campus in the mountainous Yangmingshan area. 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 wonderful!"

Vanessa Coleman