Many people around the world woke up today to the stunning news that the U.K. had voted to leave the European Union -- if they didn't stay up all night watching the vote. In the aftermath of Britain's referendum, global markets have tumbled, bond yield spreads have soared, and financial analysts and economic officials have been left scrambling to readjust their economic forecasts.

Perhaps the world should have been better prepared for the news; after all, polling in the lead-up to the referendum showed the yes and no votes nearly tied. But apparently, it wasn't. On Friday morning, investors, economic analysts and others seemed stunned by the referendum results.

Here are six charts that show the world's response to the Brexit announcement.

1. The stock market's so-called "fear gauge" soared following the Brexit vote

The VIX, a measure of expected volatility in the S&P 500 that is often called a "fear gauge," surged following Britain's vote, signaling the onset of the most turbulent trading day in months. The S&P 500 and the VIX tend to move in opposite directions, so when the VIX climbs, that indicates investors expect the S&P 500 to fall.

2. Italian and Spanish bonds tumbled as investors sought safer investments. 

The vote for Brexit increased the perceived risk of economic and political instability across the European Union, especially in weaker economies like Italy and Spain. As a result, Italian and Spanish bonds tumbled as investors sought assets that are perceived as safer, like German bonds. The yield spread between Spanish 10-year-bonds and similar German bonds climbed to the highest levels seen since March 2015, before Europe's central bank began its massive bond-buying program.

3. Banks and government bodies cut back on forecasts for global economic growth. 

Following the Brexit vote, IHS Global Insight announced that it would cut its GDP growth forecasts for the UK to 1.5 percent from 2 percent in 2016, and to 0.2 percent from 2.4 percent in 2017. The U.K. Treasury has previously forecast that a vote to leave the UK would depress GDP by between 3.6 percent and 6 percent, The Guardian reported.

4. The pound fell to its lowest value against the U.S. dollar since 1985. 

The pound fell more than 8 percent Thursday night, the currency's worst day on record, as Wonkblog's Kim Soffen writes.

5. British real estate stocks suffered. 

The vote also sparked concern over the position of London as the world's foremost financial center and services hub. Shares of U.K. real estate firms plunged, as analysts predicted that London office price could fall by as much as 20 percent.

Here are three big ways that Britain leaving the E.U. might affect Americans. (Daron Taylor, Jhaan Elker/The Washington Post)

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