In an extremely unusual sight, Eastern European countries are covered in eerie orange-tinted snow to give our rare amber hues – thanks to the sandstorm in the Sahara desert.

Russia, Bulgaria, Ukraine and Romania – four east European countries were covered in strange orange-hued snow, transforming the snow-clad European countries into Mars-like landscapes. At first sight, the unusual incident baffled people perceive as orange snow – however, the orange-hue is believed to be created by a mix of sand, dust and pollen particles stirred up and swept across from storms in northern Africa. Ski resorts resembled sandy beaches after turning orange while several witnesses said the scenes looked ‘apocalyptic’ and compared it to the surface of Mars.


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Reporting on this, Steven Keates, a weather forecaster at the Met Office of United Kingdom’s national weather service said, “There has been a lot of lifted sand or dust originating from North Africa and the Sahara, from sand storms which have formed in the desert. As the sand gets lifted to the upper levels of the atmosphere, it gets distributed elsewhere. Looking at satellite imagery from NASA, it shows a lot of sand and dust in the atmosphere drifting across the Mediterranean.”


The pictures of this bizarre yet picturesque natural phenomenon went viral on social media, covering areas including from skiers at a resort near Sochi, a city in Krasnodar Krai, Russia, located on the Black Sea coast. Interestingly, this isn’t the first time eastern European countries have experienced the orange snow-tint as a similar phenomenon happened in 2007 when mysterious “oily” orange snow fell across three regions of southern Siberia. And scientists suggest that this phenomenon repeats itself at an interval of about five years.