A ominous mushroom cloud formed over Beijing at 7 p.m. on June 14, swallowing up the entire city skyline, accompanied by thunder and lightning. The cloud caused mild panic as people feared that it was harbinger of an impending end-of-the-world cataclysm.
But after several hours of anxiety, the world did not show any signs of ending and as the giant anvil-shaped cloud that spanned several miles of the sky for about an hour began dispersing, people calmed down gradually, and returned to their daily petty preoccupations.
China Daily reports the cloud formation occurred at 7 p.m. on June 14.
According to News Yahoo! thousands of photographers and videographers lined the streets, capturing images of the formation that an observer described, saying it "gradually took the shape of an atomic bomb."
News Yahoo! reports that experts at the National Center for Atmospheric Research, say the ominous formation was a giant cumulonimbus thunderstorm cloud that forms from a towering cumulus and "resembles the head of a cauliflower."
Daily mail reports experts say that even the smallest cumulonimbus clouds dwarf other types of cloud because they typically have a base that is several miles across.