Red dawn in Australia

This amazing image shows the apocalyptic look of Sydney, Australia this morning due to a massive storm of red dust. (Click image to see Hooper's full photo.) From ABC News Australia:
The dust reduced visibility across the city and large parts of the state, with callers to ABC Radio saying the scene looked like something from the end of the world...

Karen from Dulwich Hill, in Sydney's inner west, says she woke up to find the red dust had covered her floors and birds had been blown out of their nests.

"It did feel like Armageddon because when I was in the kitchen looking out the skylight, there was this red, red glow coming through," she said.
Dust storm chokes Sydney


  1. Awesome! More biblical references that are sure to set off the batshit crazy fundamentalists into doing something stupid.
    Dust storm?

    NO NO! Armageddon!

    Total eclipse?

    NO NO! ARM – A – GED – DON!

  2. Evidence mounts that Australia was never meant for human habitation. That place truly is The Creator’s F’ed-up fever dream!

  3. C’mon … that’s the First 100 Memorial Bridge, where Hellas joins the Northern Sea. No way is that Sydney. I call fake.

  4. Tekna2007:

    Either the bridge you’re talking about is an exact copy of the Sydney Harbour Bridge or that photo was taken in Sydney.

    Sometimes the first person to call “fake!” is the first person to look like a doofus.

  5. Tekna2007 –

    It’s the sydney Harbour Bridge. I rode over it on the train this morning – could hardly see the water from the bridge level. Looked weird.

  6. Octopod:

    That hadn’t occurred to me but, now you’ve mentioned it, I can’t get it out of my head when I’m looking at the pictures. If I wasn’t so damn manly I’d be welling up.

    For those who haven’t read it, Nevil Shute’s On The Beach is set in Aus (Melbourne IIRC?) after a nuclear war has wiped out the northern hemisphere and much of the southern. Australia and NZ are just patiently waiting through the last few months until global air currents bring the radioactive dust down to them. The book tells the story of a couple of families and some friends as they watch everything slowly wind down. It’s beautifully told and absolutely heart-wrenching. And now I can’t get it out of my head as I look at those photos.

  7. Guys I can confirm this! I woke up this morning to a bedroom full of red mars dust, and I live a good three hours out of Sydney.

  8. In a way it’s a shame that this storm wasn’t going on wherever they filmed all the post-nuke Caprica scenes for BSG. In another way, yikes! Am I glad that I don’t live in Australia this week!

  9. Brainspore – I think Tekna2007 was jokin’ around – I believe the Hellas to which he refers might be on Mars…

  10. Just as bad where I live. Brisbane a 1000kms north of Sydney and by noon everything was lit by a weird orange light.

    Visibility was probably a hundred meters or so, and the air tasted like dirt.

    I have never seen a dust storm this bad in my whole life.

  11. @ Tekna2007 / Grimshaw:

    AHHH… sorry, I’m a little behind on my Martian geography. I guess that makes me the doofus.

  12. Yeah it’s passed on now, but having fallen asleep on the couch last night and waking up to this:
    at about 6am this morning was seriously eerie.

    Felt like some alien mothership should have been appearing, and despite much wind throughout the day the time of these photos etc it was very still and quiet.
    It didnt smell/feel or taste dusty at that stage so we thought it was fog at first.

    Once the day started getting on properly the deep orange hue abated and eventually a thick haze gave way to a clear day in the late afternoon, however cars, streets, houses, our outdoor furniture etc is caked in a thick coating of mars dust.

    As an asthmatic ive had a bit of a cough today but not too bad.

  13. @brainspore: No worries :) The picture made me think of something out of Kim Stanley Robinson’s “Mars” trilogy, which I read earlier this year (and adored).

  14. also, Bis ans Ende der Welt / Until the End of the World, Wim Wenders, 1991. Filmed in Coober Pedy and other South Australia locations.

  15. @3

    I agree.

    Anyplace that uniquely has as many deadly snakes, box jellyfish, irikanji, funnel web spiders, blue-ringed octopus, “salties,” etc. etc. is unlikely to have me as a tourist.


    (I KNOW there are like ~500 references we could make re: this story, but here we are pushing seven hours on this post without getting Total Recall in there. Jeez. You’d think everyone was like, at work, or something.)

  17. Life on Mars it was. I woke about 4 A.M., with my front door ajar the dust had invaded my flat and I was coughing and spluttering.

    Peering outside it looks like fog, but darker, and an overwhelming odour of damp clay. This stuff was respirable, you were breathing earth.

    Shut all windows and doors and stayed inside all day, saw some fools on TV who were jogging through this oxide soup.

  18. @30
    You’re missing out, really, this place is wonderful. As for climate change, as they say round here.
    “She’ll be roight”

  19. Yesterday morning i woke up to a deep orange light streaming into my room, i panicked thinking there was a fire outside. i opened the windows, it was all red, at first i thought it was the apocolypse.

    it was eerie, it was quiet, dark, red. i cant describe how strange it was. it was unpleasant, everytime you would breathe you could feel the dust entering your lungs.

    the photos on the net are from about 7-8am, by 1pm it was a clear blue day.

  20. Australia isn’t going to fare well from global warming.

    Isn’t going to? Australia isn’t faring well from Climate Change. It’s already happening.

    In February this year about a third of Victoria’s (southern eastern state) bushland was on fire (the fires burnt for a month), meanwhile in Queensland (northern eastern) and NSW (middle eastern) there were massive floods drowning people.

    This was an article in the paper the other day discussing our current weather.
    The Age.

    3 days in a row over 40 degrees (c, 100F) hit Melbourne last summer. Humidity was about 5% (less than an oven cooking a roast!) that was the driest most exhausting heat I’ve ever experienced.

    Anyplace that uniquely has as many deadly snakes, box jellyfish, irikanji, funnel web spiders, blue-ringed octopus, “salties,” etc. etc. is unlikely to have me as a tourist.

    It’s a big country and luckily nearly all of these creatures live pretty high North, come to Melbourne where only the weather will kill you.

  21. The storm actually went from South Australia and the north-west part of the state of Victoria right across New South Wales to the coast (including Sydney) and the Tasman sea, up to Brisbane midday yesterday local time and now has gone up to far north Queensland. It was about 600km by 1500 km.

    Lots of photos were uploaded to Flickr. A nice gallery of them is here and a few thousand more here . This one is a personal favourite and this one

    On Twitter, search #sydneyduststorm, #aussieduststorm or #duststorm and you’ll find lots there, including lots more photos.

    This one is an aerial view over Sydney – their plane actually landed in that.

    This one doesn’t look like anything but a red-orange gradient – it ordinarily would contain the Brisbane River and part of Brisbane City (worth looking at the rest of those – taken by a friend of mine who bravely went out in the storm).

    Some actual news coverage (there was plenty) and – plenty of pics and video in those

    This is the storm from space . (In the cloud in the upper right corner of that image there is of course the face of God in profile view, large nose, short beard, somewhere between William Blake and Basil Wolverton in style.)

  22. Here’s another NASA image

    The blue area at the bottom of the image is the ocean off the state of Victoria and southern New South Wales; the ocean at the top right is off Southern Queensland near Brisbane. Sydney is under the dust cloud, as is most of the state of New South Wales.

    The real fun part is going to be in the future, after BHP-Billiton turns South Australia’s Olympic Dam uranium mine into an open-cut mine, and we get the alpha radiation from that blowin’ in the wind like this. (South Australia is where the dust came from.)

  23. Pshaw!! This little dust up is not an Har-Magedon preview. It’s a tiny rebuke to the Aussies for inflicting Russell Crowe and that canned puke, Fosters, on the civilised world. Neville Shute had the right idea but the wrong location.There was a time when a Digger could dig-now?-a bunch of girly-boys that can’t play cricket or rugby without complaining of hangnails.Oh! Don Bradman whither thou?


    i agree 100% except for fosters… while it’s no doubt face-chum in a clever can, it’s equally unpopular in australia. it’s all under the guise of clever marketing, since for the US, i believe the brewery is in canada, and owned by the heineken group… much the same way blue moon is pitched as an exotic belgian wheat beer to americans when it’s actually owned by the molson/coors group, and is brewed in denver alongside keystone light. how elegant.

    and i’m not sold on that picture either… looks like a shot from the set of “total recall 2: open your miiiiiinddddd”

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