The Chinese fascination for dragons goes back centuries, with many people often reading potent omens into dragon symbols. In an epic facepalm moment on the Chinese Internet on Saturday, December 07, netizens were overwhelmed by a dragon-like cloud trail spotted during sunset -- with many believing it to be an auspicious sign -- which was later revealed to be a vapour trail reportedly left by a rocket that was launched earlier the same day.
The long cloud that zigzagged across the sky could be well imagined to be a dragon with a long tail flying into the horizon, as seen in a video posted on the Chinese web on Sunday.
"It was the vapor trail of the rocket called Kuaizhou launched at Taiyuan Satellite Launch Center (in North China's Shanxi Province) at about 4:50 pm," Yu Jun, the editor-in-chief of Guokr.com, a Chinese mobile and web-based community site, said in a statement.
He explained that such trails were a common phenomenon and consisted of vapours from airplanes or spacecraft at a high altitude. The rocket's trail was illuminated by the setting sun and was seen across the sky in Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei regions.
"The trajectory was a straight line when it was first produced. But it was soon distorted into other shapes by the winds at a high altitude," Yu added.
Sina Weibo, the Chinese micro-blogging equivalent of Twitter, reported the details of Kuaizhou-1A rocket. Auspicious omen or not, the incident calls for a good laugh.