Incredible image of glowing orb that resembles a UFO is revealed to be a lenticular cloud – a phenomenon that forms on the side of volcanic Mount Shasta in the winter
- California officials shared photos of a lenticular cloud that formed over the Mount Shasta region in California
- Lenticular clouds are known for their odd shape and comes from a Latin word that means ‘lens shaped’
- They usually occur during winter near mountains and mountain ranges when moisture in the air collects
- People often mistake phenomenon for flying saucers or UFOs
A peculiar glowing orb that resembled a flying saucer was not an extraterrestrial ship, but a rare cloud that formed last week in California.
Officer Paul Zerr of the Shasta-McCloud Management Unit snapped the transfixing sight – known as a lenticular cloud – on February 12 while driving near the Mount Shasta region.
Mount Shasta, a 14,000 foot, potentially active volcano, is one of the areas in the U.S. where residents can see the strange cloud formation.
A California official captured a photo of a lenticular cloud last week near the Mount Shasta region in California
The Shasta-Trinity National Forest shared photos on its Facebook page and explained that lenticular clouds sometimes form near mountain ranges.
Donna Kleaver Thompson also shared a photo of the lenticular cloud with the Shasta-McCloud Management Unit.
According to the National Weather Service, lenticular clouds – also known as Altocumulus Standing Lenticular – are associated with atmospheric waves that ‘develop when relatively stable, fast moving air is forced up and over a topographic barrier.’
‘This deflection creates a gravity wave downwind of the topographic barrier not unlike a wave you might generate by throwing a pebble into a pond.’
Lenticular clouds get their odd shape from moisture in the air. If there’s a enough moisture in the air, the rising motion of the atmospheric wave will cause the water vapor to condense.
On the other hand, moisture can cause the lenticular cloud to evaporate and disappear quickly.
These clouds oftentimes form in the lowest level of the Earth’s atmosphere and have clearly defined outlines
Lenticular clouds appear stationary, but have constant wind moving going through the formation
These saucer-like clouds cause severe turbulence for aircraft pilots who encounter them
In the post, the forest’s management wrote: ‘Lenticular clouds are shaped like a lens and result from stable, moist air masses and strong winds in mountain environments.’
‘They are most common during the winter months and Mt. Shasta is one of the places to spot them in the state and perhaps the country.’
The Shasta-Trinity National Forest also said that lenticular clouds normally develop downwind from a mountain or mountain range.
Additionally, lenticular comes from a Latin word that means ‘lens shaped’ and refers to the shape of the cloud.
Because of its resemblance to flying saucers, alien enthusiasts often mistake lenticular clouds for UFOs.
In fact, a nearby town to Mt. Shasta will be hosting a ‘Meet the Venusians – We Are in Contact’ conference in August 2020.
Although wildlife officials have dispelled any UFO-related rumors, social media users took the opportunity to make several alien-themed puns.
‘There’s that Flying Saucer again,’ one person quipped on Facebook.
Pictured: a lenticular cloud formed over Mount Shasta similar to the one captured on February 12
‘It’s the Enterprise,’ one person wrote, ‘I knew they were space ships this just proves.’ it.
Another user leaned into the joke, suggesting that cloud was actually a cover-up for impending martians.
‘All giant planet-busting harbingers of Martian invasion conceal themselves as lenticular clouds,’ they wrote.
One man said: ‘With all the UFO stories abound in the Mt. Shasta area, this cloud fits in well.’
A user summed up everyone’s thoughts, saying: ‘UFO hiding in plain sight.’