A total solar eclipse was visible across much of Europe, North Africa, and other parts of the globe today, resulting in many hilarious photos of people staring openmouthed at the sky like they were training to be extras in an action flick.
The dark glasses people wore to protect their eyes from the wrath of the sun made it easy to distinguish the budding astronomers from those waiting for an impending invasion of extraterrestrials. In Longyearbyen, Norway, one of the northernmost places on Earth where you can still find a significant number of people, eclipse watchers whooped and popped bottles of Champagne as the sun receded from the sky. Mary Rannestad from Minnesota summed the moment up best: “It was just fabulous, just beautiful and at the same time a bit odd and it was too short.”
The United States missed out on all the fun and won’t get a chance to pull out the eclipse glasses until August 21, 2017. It will be the first time a total solar eclipse has been visible here since 1979.
Until then, we can make ourselves feel better by laughing at how wonderfully ridiculous people look when staring at eclipses.
Since this is one of the first major celestial events in the age of smartphones, doctors have been quick to warn people that Instagramming might be bad for your health. A clinical adviser at the U.K.’s College of Optometrists told BBC, “In 1999, when there was the last major eclipse, no-one really had smartphones or took selfies. This could potentially be very dangerous because people might be tempted to look at the Sun as they try to get the perfect shot or clip.”
And yes, people were tempted.
Some people made shields to protect their iPhone’s fragile eyes from the sun.
There were those who accidentally preserved their eyesight by taking photos of their pets wearing stylish eclipse shades instead.
Other animals didn’t seem to get what the big deal was either.
Cloudy weather stopped many people from getting to see the show. As these friends in France showed, however, it’s not that hard to fake an eclipse reaction shot. There’s absolutely nothing to stop the hungry Instagrammers of North America from feigning solar awe today — and you don’t even have to worry about burning your eyeballs.