Photos and videos show a glowing, UFO-shaped cloud hovering over a town in Turkey
- A glowing, rose-colored cloud was spotted in Bursa, a province in Turkey.
- Meteorologist say it's a lenticular cloud, which explains its UFO-like shape.
This is not an unidentified flying object.
It is, in fact, a round, rose-colored cloud spotted hovering above a town in Turkey. And it has stunned locals and social media users with its concave appearance.
Several photos and videos capture the glowing cloud floating on top of houses, roads, and mountains against the backdrop of gradient skies on January 19.
Meteorologists have identified this occurence in Bursa — a province in northwestern Turkey located in the foothills of Mount Uludag— as lenticular clouds, a phenomenon said to be commonplace in locations with tall mountains.
"Lenticulars are formed when strong winds blow across complex terrain, causing the water vapor in the air mass to alternately compress, then decompress, and thus condense into shapes which roughly mirror the terrain beneath," according to NASA.
A photo taken by photographer Sinan Balcikoca shows the cloud floating on top of several homes.
Several social media users have said the cloud resembles a UFO because of its saucer-like shape and bright, reddish color.
Others expressed their skepticism over the photos circulating online, with some asking if this was a hoax.
"Incredible cloud formations witnessed in Turkey, were they added in post-editing or were they real?" one Twitter user said in a January 21 a post. "It feels like a UFO again, nature is really amazing," she added.
—Lucy (@Jocelyn1988_) January 20, 2023
But meteorologists have indeed confirmed that the phenomenon is real, and occur in the right conditions.
According to meteorologist Marshall Shepherd, a Forbes contributor, the brilliant colors of the cloud can be attributed to irisation, which is when droplets or ice particles cause light to spread or bend in clouds.
One photo taken by photographer Mustafa Bikec shows the gradient colors of the cloud, from the bright yellow in the center, to the deeper, red-orange towards the outside of the cloud.
In a video posted on Twitter by an account named Sabir Haber and credited to Anadolu Agency, cars can be seen driving underneath the massive cloud.
—Sabır Haber (@sabirhaber) January 19, 2023
It's not the first time lenticular clouds went viral online.
In February 2020, a saucer-like cloud was spotted in Weed, California, similar to the one in Bursa. Weed is located just outside Mount Shasta, which might explain why the cloud was spotted in the town.
According to the Washington Post, lenticular clouds are commonplace in western states, and are most often seen drifting above Mount Rainier.
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