408 Hot Air Balloons Just Took Off at the Same Time—Here's Video

The breaking of a world record, in time-lapse

Yesterday, something happened that happens every day: hot air balloons fired up and set to the skies. Yesterday, however, something also happened that has never happened before: more than 400 balloons, gathered in the same field, took off -- at the same time. At the Lorraine Mondial international hot air balloon festival, which has been gathering in a French airfield since 1989, 408 balloons launched. In the process, they broke a world record.

Unsurprisingly, the event was visually spectacular: bursts of color dotting the sky like a pointillist painting in motion. Unsurprisingly, as well, photographers were on hand to capture all the beauty. And they put their images to video. Above is a time-lapse from Antonio Cristiani, via the Telegraph; below is another perspective from Stephane Tauziede. It's balloons all the way down -- and, of course, all the way up. 

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Megan Garber is a staff writer at The Atlantic. She was formerly an assistant editor at the Nieman Journalism Lab, where she wrote about innovations in the media.

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