Hong Kong’s sub-tropical geographical location means that it’s graced by typhoons every summer. Whilst these storms used to cause major devastation in Hong Kong, over the years, the city has developed a sophisticated system to cope with them. In fact, as problems caused by typhoons have become milder over the years, a T8 signal—during which workers and students get time off—has become something that Hongkongers look forward to.
Ever hear someone refer to “Li’s Force Field”? That’s a joke (or is it?) referring to tycoon Li Ka-shing’s supposed “powers” that repel tropical storms away from the city during stock market trading hours for fear of financial loss. The Hong Kong Observatory’s former Chief Lee Boon-ying attempted to put the rumor to rest in 2010 by commenting that the HKO is “not swayed by business or economic concerns.”
Our favorite typhoon factoid, though, is unrelated to tycoons. The names of tropical cyclones come from the World Meteorological Organization’s Typhoon Committee, which assigns names to storms based on nominations submitted by various countries. In 2005, “pineapple bun” was submitted in a Hong Kong competition to add more names to the list. Sadly, the name was rejected by judges who felt it would have sounded “too funny”.