A video of a strange black ring of smoke hovering over the Russian capital has gone viral on social media, sparking a range of questions on Twitter.
Anton Gerashchenko, an adviser to Ukraine’s minister of internal affairs, shared a clip on his Twitter page on Monday that has so far been viewed by more than 2.2 million people. It shows the thick black ring over Moscow, which gradually gets fainter by the end of the clip.
Gersashchenko captioned the video: “Residents of Moscow publish videos of a black circle in the city’s sky. What do you think happened here?”
Other videos of the black ring have begun to circulate on social media as well. One clip, that has so far been viewed shows more than 220,000 times it at a different angle. The ring is seen briefly rising higher into the sky in this clip.
Despite the speculation among social media users, with some suggesting the video had been faked, or was proof of aliens, a similar phenomenon has been seen multiple times across the world.
In 2014, according to a BBC report, a similar sight was observed near Warwick Castle in Warwick, England. A black ring reportedly hovered in the sky for approximately three minutes and was captured by a 16-year-old girl on her smartphone.
This incident again sparked speculation and concern from individuals who saw the image. Some suggested it could have been a swarm of insects or birds.
Others suggested a natural weather phenomenon, a theory that was dismissed by the Met Office weather service.
In a statement, a Met Office spokeswoman said: “There’s no meteorological reason why it’s happened. And there was nothing unusual that happened in Leamington Spa that day, we’ve checked.”
Eventually a statement from Warwick Castle explained the phenomenon and said they had been testing fireworks.
To cause the fire ring they had been trying out “fire effects” to go with the daily firing of the Trebuchet Fireball, a giant catapult.
The spokesman said: “We’ve seen a number of different effects, including the vortex images that have been reported. As yet we don’t know what causes the phenomenon but it’s certainly a spooky spectacle.”
A similar incident in Pakistan also caused a stir in 2020, according to reports.
A thin black ring was seen in the skies of Lahore, Pakistan, causing concern online, according to The Sun.
Despite the concerns, the report highlighted many of the plausible explanations. An industrial fault on the ground like an electrical transformer blowing up could create the effect.
The report also noted that the black ring could also be caused by the use of fireworks and stated that smoke vortices require a blast through a circular structure, like through a factory smokestack or a homemade rubbish bin.