Rainbow lasting almost 9 hours in Taiwan to enter Guinness World Record: Report

The rainbow was recorded on Nov 30, 2017, by professors at the Chinese Culture University in Taiwan's Shilin District.
The rainbow was recorded on Nov 30, 2017, by professors at the Chinese Culture University in Taiwan's Shilin District.PHOTO: CHINESE CULTURE UNIVERSITY

A rainbow that displayed its colourful hues in the sky for nearly nine hours last November is set to make Taiwan the new Guinness World Record holder for longest-lasting rainbow, local media said.

The rainbow was recorded on Nov 30 last year by professors at the Chinese Culture University (CCU) in Taiwan's Shilin District, the Taiwan News reported on Friday (March 16).

Photographs show the multi-coloured rainbow arcing across the sky.

Professors Chou Kun-hsuan and Liu Ching-huang, along with students from the university, documented the rainbow with pictures and video recordings.

The BBC said in a report in December that the university's Department of Atmospheric Sciences alone took 10,000 pictures of the rainbow.

"After four hours, we mobilised all our students and began to notify everyone in the school to take pictures and send us pictures," Prof Chou told the BBC.

"When we broke the previous record after passing six hours, I was hardly able to stay seated for lunch. I was so excited, I wanted to make sure we captured the rainbow," he said. "But then it did something even more incredible. It went on to beat the previous record by another three hours!"

It was visible for eight hours and 58 minutes, according to his documentation.

The rainbow's longevity has been attributed to a cloud-forming seasonal north-east monsoon, sunlight and a relatively low wind speed, all conditions that are common in winter in Taipei's Yangmingshan mountains, where the campus is located.

The Taiwan News said a Guinness World Records committee will be holding a formal ceremony at the university on Saturday to recognise Taiwan as the new record holder.

According to the Guinness World Records website, the current record belongs to a six-hour sighting dubbed "The Wetherby Rainbow". It was seen from 9am to 3pm over the English town of Wetherby in Yorkshire on March 14, 1994.

Most rainbows disappear after about an hour, according to weather site Accuweather.com.