The appearance of a mysterious white object in the sky over northern Japan on Wednesday set social media ablaze, with speculation ranging from UFOs to coronavirus and North Korean propaganda.
Television footage taken in the northeastern city of Sendai showed a balloon-like object above a cross, on which propellers seemed to be turning. Officials in the Sendai Weather Bureau said it had appeared near dawn and hung in the sky for hours, largely unmoving, until obscured by clouds.
By afternoon it was the third-most trending topic on Japanese Twitter, with theories including UFOs and North Korean balloons used to drop leaflets. One user said it could be spreading novel coronavirus, adding, "This gives me a very bad feeling, as if Godzilla might suddenly appear."
A Sendai government official said inquiries were still proceeding, with both the size of the object and its origin, as well as its function, undetermined. No move had been made to retrieve it as of late afternoon.
"We have absolutely no idea what it is," said a weather bureau spokesman, declining to give his name. "It may be some kind of weather monitoring equipment, but it definitely isn’t ours." （Reuters）
ablaze：形容詞，指著火、閃耀、興奮激昂。例句：Two buildings were set ablaze.（兩棟大樓付之一炬。）
speculation：名詞，指猜測、推斷、投機買賣。例句：She had tried to damp down speculation about the state of her marriage.（她曾試圖制止關於她婚姻狀態的臆測。）
obscure：形容詞，指默默無聞的、費解的、朦朧的；動詞，指遮掩、使晦澀。例句：They deliberately obscured the real situation from the investigators.（他們故意對調查人員掩蓋真實情況。）