Mere days after a ferocious lightning storm rocked the city of Tokyo, citizens from various parts of central Japan have experienced a mysterious black rainfall.
Giving the effect of thin black paint spatters, the rain is reportedly not radioactive and the cause of the odd discolouration is currently under investigation.
Images of eerie soot-coloured puddles pooling on roads and on the top of cars have been shared on social media, with many people left mystified by the unusual liquid.
The dark rainwater was reported to authorities by those living in several wards across Japan’s Saitama Prefecture on March 2.
Most of these reports have originated from the city of Hasuda, according to local news source SoraNews24, however other affected areas in Saitama have included Ageo, Iwatsuki and Kuki.
Hasuda City officials have since issued a statement announcing they are looking into the matter, after receiving various complaints of ‘black puddles in roads and on cars’. After measuring levels of radiation levels, nothing was found to be out of the ordinary.
— 3Miyabi (@3Miyabi1) March 2, 2020
Black rain is often regarded to be a sinister omen in Japan, and was spotted following the catastrophic atomic bomb attacks Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
Some Japanese social media users shared pictures of the rain, expressing serious concern. One person described it as ‘a little too scary’ while another said it was ‘about as bad an omen as you can get these days’.
However, as reported by 7News.com, there could well be a far less sinister explanation behind the phenomenon.
Although this has not been confirmed as the cause, it has been speculated that a recent fire at a plastics factory in Noda – within the neighbouring prefecture of Chiba – could have led to smoke mixing with the dye, creating the dark colour.
You can see footage of the factory fire for yourself below:
UNILAD spoke with a Met Office spokesperson, who helped demystify some of the more unusual varieties of rain:
We quite often have what the media call ‘red rain’ here [in the UK]. Quite often dust from the Sahara will come on the wind. And then it pours and the rain evaporates, and you’re left with sand.
Although, as of yet, there has been no confirmation as to whether this rain has been coloured due to the factory fire, there is no need to panic and spread conspiracy theories. Rain in itself is a strange and interesting thing, and can have many different appearances.
If you have a story you want to tell, send it to UNILAD via [email protected]
Jules studied English Literature with Creative Writing at Lancaster University before earning her masters in International Relations at Leiden University in The Netherlands (Hoi!). She then trained as a journalist through News Associates in Manchester. Jules has previously worked as a mental health blogger, copywriter and freelancer for various publications.