By Jessica Stewart on January 23, 2023
Yes, it’s real. And it was in the sky for about an hour!
Clouds are funny things. They can be light and fluffy, dark and angry, or take on a wide range of shapes and colors. There are iridescent clouds and there are clouds that look like they’ve been set on fire. Recently, in the northwestern city of Bursa in Turkey, Hafize Aktaş came across a very unusual cloud that’s been causing a stir. Looking like what’s been described as a UFO, a pie, or a part of the female anatomy, this strange cloud actually isn’t as uncommon as you’d think.
Known as lenticular clouds, they are caused by winds. Typically found close to hills and mountains, these stationary clouds have curved, UFO-like shapes. This particular cloud is reported to have been around for about an hour at sunrise. So what causes them? When wind blows across the mountains, it can cause stable moist air to create a series of waves downwind. If there is enough moisture at the crest of the wave, condensation occurs, and a lens forms.
Lenticular clouds are subdivided into three categories depending on their altitude from the ground—altocumulus standing lenticular (ACSL), stratocumulus standing lenticular (SCSL), and cirrocumulus standing lenticular (CCSL). They’re often accompanied by strong gusts of wind in one place, and still air in another.
So while this cloud in Turkey is certainly picturesque, in particular, due to the time of day it appeared, it’s not as unusual as one might think. […]