Some of the wildest internet reactions to New York’s apocalyptic haze

By Mason Berlinka

Published Jun 8, 2023 at 12:27 PM

Reading time: 2 minutes

Overnight, New York City has been transformed into a smokey and orange-hued wasteland, looking like something right out of a dystopian thriller. The bizarre and quite frankly scary atmosphere comes as a result of wildfires that are currently happening in Canada.

Although the city is being plagued with horrendous air quality as a result, New Yorkers and netizens have wasted no time making light of the nightmarish scenario. We’ve collected some of the best clips from New York’s sudden sepia-toned makeover just for you.

Timelapse of New York City becoming engulfed with smoke

The city’s descent into dangerous levels of air pollution as a result of the Canadian wildfires has been caught on camera in this stunning timelapse which shows the once blue skyed city turned into a martian landscape.

New York City air quality: before and after

Watch this before and after showing just how dramatically the iconic city has changed over night. As a result of the smoke that has engulfed the city, government officials have advised those at risk due to the low air quality, including the elderly and small children, to stay indoors during the climate-induced event.


Orange skies today in NYC 🍊🔥 #wildfire #nycairquality #airquality #newyorkcity

♬ original sound - $

Promotion for the ‘Dune’ sequel may have gotten out of hand

Cinema obsessives have wasted no time comparing New York’s current situation to all of their favourite blockbusters, from The Purge to Dune. If this is viral marketing, they may have gone a little bit overboard.


dune promo going a little too crazy #nyc #dune #newyork #dunepart2 #timotheechalamet #zendaya #fyp @DuneMovie

♬ original sound - karina 🪐

nah bc this is terrifying 🌆😷💨 #nyc #nycapartmentlife #dystopia #nycairquality #airqualityrn #nycinfluencer

♬ The Purge - Demetrius X

Why has the sun turned red in New York?

Many users online had also noticed that the decline in air quality was preceded by a red sun, giving the city the very strong vibe of impending doom. Okay, maybe that’s a little bit intense but it was definitely giving strong omen vibes.

Other users likened the sun to Superman’s home planet Krypton:

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A post shared by WhatIsNewYork (@whatisnewyork)

Canada wildfires create perfect viral marketing for Blizzard’s ‘Diablo IV’

Movies aside, New York’s new vibe couldn’t have come at a better time for the release of Blizzard’s new action role-playing game Diablo IV. The game, set predominantly in hell, had a strong marketing campaign which welcomed new players “to Hell” ahead of its 6 June release date.

Against the backdrop of the orange smog enveloping the city, it really looked like New Yorkers were in the underworld.

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A post shared by Sam Q (@samanthaquick_)

Hermès iconic orange strikes a strong similarity

In a final bow from the internet memeing, someone has superimposed the Hermès logo onto a photo of the hazy city, the hue of which shares an incredible similarity to the high fashion house’s iconic orange boxes. We think this one wins for creativity.

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A post shared by Seth Fountain (@methfountain)

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