Strange UFO-Shaped Cloud Formation in Turkey Causes a Stir Online


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A post shared by Hafize Aktaş (@_aktas_hafize)

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. Bursa sits in the shadows of Mount Uludağ, so there's no surprise that this particular cloud formation would appear here. In the United States, lenticular clouds are commonly seen around the Rocky Mountains, as well as Mount Rainier. So next time you are in the vicinity of some mountains, be sure to check out the sky and see if some UFO clouds are floating in the air.

A strange cloud formation photographed in Turkey is actually the result of winds from a nearby mountain.


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A post shared by Hafize Aktaş (@_aktas_hafize)

Hafize Aktaş: Instagram
h/t: [The Washington Post]

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Jessica Stewart

Jessica Stewart is a Contributing Writer and Digital Media Specialist for My Modern Met, as well as a curator and art historian. Since 2020, she is also one of the co-hosts of the My Modern Met Top Artist Podcast. She earned her MA in Renaissance Studies from University College London and now lives in Rome, Italy. She cultivated expertise in street art which led to the purchase of her photographic archive by the Treccani Italian Encyclopedia in 2014. When she’s not spending time with her three dogs, she also manages the studio of a successful street artist. In 2013, she authored the book 'Street Art Stories Roma' and most recently contributed to 'Crossroads: A Glimpse Into the Life of Alice Pasquini'. You can follow her adventures online at @romephotoblog.
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