Green Clouds Over Moscow: Tree Pollen or Beginning of Apocalypse?
Green clouds hovering over Moscow, Russia sparked fear and doomsday theories in many people on Thursday, but authorities say it's Birch tree pollen.
Mysterious green clouds crept up on the Russian capital of Moscow Thursday morning and sparked a wide range of reactions. Some people who say the clouds saw it as a sign of a chemical disaster, as mysteriously happened around the time of the 26th anniversary of the Chernobyl nuclear reaction accident.
"Many residents forgot all about natural phenomena and decided that it's the result of an accident at an industrial facility," said the city administration of Moscow region town of Podolsk, an industrial town south of Moscow.
Others are coming up with doomsday theories, claiming it could be the beginning of an apocalypse. "Green clouds are coming toward Moscow," Komsomolskaya Pravda tabloid headlined its story. "Could it be that the apocalypse is upon us?"
People even began calling authorities and sending out tweets relating the mysterious clouds to a burning factory in the Moscow region. Russian twitter uses claimed schools and the factory was destroyed.
The city administration and the Emergencies Ministry is trying to calm fears by explaining that the clouds were actually composed of birch pollen, not chemicals from the alleged burning building. Biologists say birch trees started blooming yesterday, which would also explain why Muscovites have started sneezing. Birch pollen is a strong allergen, so people suffering from hay fever are strongly advised to take the necessary steps.