Last week, in Chile's Pozo Almonte city, citizens spotted a bright purple cloud in the sky. Photos of the bizarre phenomenon came to be shared widely on social media.
They showed a purple streak extending across the sky -- a sight that would puzzle anyone.
Concerned citizens reported the sighting to the authorities, who soon began an investigation into it, The Sun reported.
En #pozoalmonte, en faena Cala Cala Cosayach se produce una emergencia medioambiental, donde se observa una nube de sublimación de yoduro, se activa plan de emergencia local. @info_emergencia @reddeemergencia @biobio #MedioAmbiente #hazmat pic.twitter.com/QXzcqk6cbP
— Negrita(@JeannetteQuim) August 21, 2022
It turns out that the purple cloud was caused by iodine leaking from a nearby mine. The purple-black nonmetal changed from a solid to gaseous state because of a pump failure, The Sun quoted environmental officials as saying.
The seepage fortunately did not have any harmful effects, officials said. They were at the site for two days to keep watch.
Officials are likely to register a complaint against the operators of the mine where the seepage occured.