“UFO Clouds” Really Do Exist. Here’s How They Are Formed.

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A strange cloud formation in Cape Town, South Africa, had some people wondering whether the earth was being visited by aliens last Sunday.

A disturbance in the sky

An unarmed missile test fired off the California coast created a disturbance in the night sky. The next day, residents in Cape Town, South Africa, reported seeing strange clouds. A few people captured images of what looked like “UFO” shaped clouds and joked that the world was being invaded by aliens. The scene was eye-catching.

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Nothing to fear

No, it was not a scene from a summer blockbuster movie nor was it as a fleet of UFOs. It was just what scientists call lenticular clouds. These types of clouds form when strong, high and humid winds blow over rough areas like valleys or mountains such as the Table Mountain (3,500 feet or 1,066-meter high) overlooking Cape Town. As the winds blow, the sky forms disk-shaped clouds that develop perpendicular to the direction of the air flow. Meteorologist Daniel Peck said that these clouds were unique and that they were also reported in Texas earlier this year.

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