Oct 15, 2015 I Paul Seaburn

Ghost Cities Mysteriously Appear Over Parts of China

Imagine looking out a window at dusk on a misty evening and seeing the ghostly skyline of a mysterious city floating in the sky above you. This actually happened in early October when residents of Foshan, China, saw a mysterious ghost city hovering over their own city. It happened again a few days later in Jiangxi. Reports of these sightings recalled a similar ghost city appearing over a river in Huanshan City in 2011. Are these mirages, apparitions of ghost cities, views into another dimension or something else?


The ghost city in Foshan was recorded on video and reported on the local news. The mysterious city appeared to float above this city in Guangdong province.

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A ghost city above Jiangxi, China

This picture of a ghost city was taken on October 12 in Jiangxi by a Mr. Wu at 5 pm. He said the image stayed visible for 30 minutes and then disappeared.

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Ghost city over river in Huanshan City

The 2011 ghost city was seen by many Huanshan City residents who were able to take numerous clear pictures because the mysterious vision occurred well before nightfall. The images clearly showed buildings, structures and trees. What were all of these people in Foshan, Jiangxi and Huanshan City looking at?

One popular explanation is a mirage. Humid air bends the reflection of the city from the cold water or air below and beams it onto the mist, causing the mirage. However, the images are usually fuzzy and these are crisp. What else could cause that?

A sharp, sometimes inverted mirage can be a Fata Morgana – a form of mirage named for the mythical sorceress Morgan le Fay who created images of fairy castles in the air to lure sailors to their deaths. This condition is often believed to be the cause of the Flying Dutchman sightings of a faraway ghost ship and has been used to explain monster sightings in or above bodies of water. The refraction principle here is similar to a mirage but on a larger scale with the image floating high above the water or horizon.

Then there’s the theory that the image is evidence of Project Blue Beam, the alleged NASA program to start a New World Order by creating fake images that appear to be signs of a Second Coming.

So what did the residents of Foshan, Jiangxi and Huanshan City see that appeared to be a ghost cities but weren’t actually there? Whatever they were, it shows how easy it still is, even in this advanced technological era, for nature to fool us.

Paul Seaburn

Paul Seaburn is the editor at Mysterious Universe and its most prolific writer. He’s written for TV shows such as "The Tonight Show", "Politically Incorrect" and an award-winning children’s program. He's been published in “The New York Times" and "Huffington Post” and has co-authored numerous collections of trivia, puzzles and humor. His “What in the World!” podcast is a fun look at the latest weird and paranormal news, strange sports stories and odd trivia. Paul likes to add a bit of humor to each MU post he crafts. After all, the mysterious doesn't always have to be serious.

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