In a development that surprised many of the 4.5 million residents of Chaohu, the Chinese city has ceased to exist. The metropolis, which sits on the shores of a lake some 250 miles east of Shanghai, was wiped off the map overnight by officials who decided to divvy it up among three neighboring cities for administrative reasons, NPR reports. Many residents only discovered that their city had vanished when it was reported on local news.
"Anhui province is today announcing the cancelation of Chaohu city," the broadcast said, describing the move as "an inherent need at a certain level of economic growth" and leaving the city's people bemused. "I'm unhappy about it," said one resident playing cards in the street. "Chaohu was great. Why did they get rid of it?" One thing about the abolishment of their city, however, has pleased residents: Local government officials, widely seen as corrupt, have been reassigned to other areas.