The initial assumption was that smoke from raging wildfires in other districts had blotted out the Sun, but officials have denied this theory without explaining what caused the weird phenomenon. An official in Nizhne-Bytantaisky settlement contradicted residents who had reported a thick layer of dust after the cloud and darkness vanished. There was no dust, he said.
Local officials said there was no rain, dust, smoke or a sharp air temperature drop in the region during the event. However, they said that almost all Arctic districts reported a significant temperature fall. On the night before the event the temperatures dropped down to minus -4 °C (24.8 °F), local media said. July average in the region is about 10 °C (50 °F).
In the absence of information, residents have swapped theories on WhatsApp and other social media over the cause of the darkness, ‘like an eclipse’ - except there wasn’t one - and no eclipse lasts that long. Some blamed the work of the devil, while messages were going around about a light flash registered by the US satellites, followed by increase of radioactive level and unusual activity of the military. One source said: ‘This can only be explained by a UFO.’
‘Konstantin Starostin, head of the settlement, said: ‘When the Sun vanished, people started calling us in the administration. ‘Many got scared, especially elderly people. People who live here for many years said they had never witnessed anything like this.’ There is still no official explanation of the phenomenon from meteorological, defence, or other deferral officials.