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15 Pictures Of Shockingly Blue Skies In Beijing

Gray, the dominant color of the polluted capital of China, is finally stepping aside to reveal a gorgeous blue. BONUS: Double rainbows!

Posted on June 11, 2015, at 4:36 p.m. ET

1. Thousands of Beijing residents have been sharing photos of blue skies on China's popular Weibo and WeChat social media sites for the last few months.

2. The pictures being uploaded on Thursday showed one of the clearest skies in recent memory: crystal clear and looking distinctly unlike one of the world's most polluted cities.

Weibo / Via

3. The city's air pollution level has reportedly dropped 19% in the last year, after the government began to shut down coal-fired power plants city-wide and try to reduce vehicle exhaust by giving out limited new license plates.

Sunny day in #Beijing - pollution index 25 - #FreshAirChina

4. The results are pretty stunning.

Facebook: permalink.php


北京难得一见的好天气,不过我也快被大风吹跑了!#beauty #nature #blue #sky #beijing #cloud #lookup #iphoneonly by svetacassiechyu


Today,Beijing's sky,blue&clean💙⛅😊

8. Though environment experts warn that the war against air pollution still has a long way to go, a decade ago this kind of photo would have been impossible in Beijing.

Jason Lee / Reuters

9. Bonus: As Beijing's skies clear, it's becoming easier to see things like this breathtaking double rainbow, which appeared in the city's metropolitan area on June 6.

Weibo / Via

10. A blue sky plus a rainbow? For Beijingers, that's CNN-style breaking news.

BREAKING: rainbow seen over Beijing, if but for a few moments #china #waronpollution #air #environment #notfake

11. Drivers stopped their cars on a highway to take photos of it.

Alexander F. Yuan / AP

12. Here's where things get really weird: Double rainbows have a habit of showing up in the beginning of June. They have been a guarantee for the past three years, appearing on June 9, 2013...

View this video on YouTube

13. June 6, 2014...

And on June 6, a rainbow appears over Beijing:

14. And June 6 again this year. (Six is a lucky number in China, and two sixes mean double the luck. So in China, June 6 is simply a very good day, and there are the rainbows to prove it.)

15. Here's hoping that this trend continues, because this is simply beautiful.

A BuzzFeed News investigation, in partnership with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, based on thousands of documents the government didn't want you to see.