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Beijing’s Smog Problem Is So Bad, Social Media Users Have to Outline Landmarks

Thanks to pollution, the best way to see China right now is online.

The Chinese capital of Beijing was hit with a particularly horrible case of smog on December 1, when pollution obscured the streets, the sky, and yes, the city’s famous landmarks. The BBC reported that a measurement taken at the U.S. Embassy in Beijing put the levels of “harmful microscopic particles” in the city’s air at 634 micrograms per cubic centimeter. The World Health Organization recommends a maximum of 25 micrograms.

Here’s the view at noon on December 1, via New York Times editor Ching-Ching Ni:


Image via Twitter

But those who are hoping to explore Beijing despite the fog, fear not! The internet has your back! Chinese social media users have taken to microblogging platforms to post images of the smog-suffused city, with a helpful addition: outlines of some of the city’s most iconic spots.

Here, for example, are CCTV headquarters:

Image via Twitter

A few more buildings, courtesy the clever people of the Internet:

Image via Twitter

Image via Twitter

Image via Twitter

“Never has Beijing been shrouded in such apocalyptic smog,” the Chinese paper China Daily wrote in a strongly worded editorial published last week. The piece called on the government to take a stronger stand on the country’s pollution problem, which last week prompted families to keep their children at home.

“People's health should deserve more attention than the GDP figure,” the editorial said.

Currently, China is participating in the the Paris climate talks. The 195-country negotiation’s goal is to establish more uniform global pollution and emission rules to prevent further climate change-related crises.

(Via Mashable. Cover image via Twitter)