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These clouds are nice. Some clouds are ice!
September 22, 2006 12:45 PM   Subscribe

۞۩unusual clouds۩۞
posted by riotgrrl69 (43 comments total) 16 users marked this as a favorite

Neat pictures, but what's with the goofy characters?
posted by Hildegarde at 12:50 PM on September 22, 2006

posted by riotgrrl69 at 12:53 PM on September 22, 2006

Now I see the origins of many UFO stories. It was sort of cool seeing the cloud that looks very much like a very famous UFO pic.
posted by sfts2 at 12:55 PM on September 22, 2006

Ok. That took me far too long.
posted by Harry at 12:55 PM on September 22, 2006

Neato. No wonder earlier peoples thought some intelligent being must control the weather. Some of the bumpy thunderstorm ones near the bottom look color corrected though.
posted by gsteff at 12:57 PM on September 22, 2006

A friend of mine took some pictures of a wierd spiral cloud formation that I couldn't figure out what it was.

any ideas?

posted by empath at 1:04 PM on September 22, 2006

Funnel cloud. Run.
posted by blue_beetle at 1:05 PM on September 22, 2006

You think? He took 3 more pictures, but it didn't seem to develop at all. -- anyway.. its a tangent
posted by empath at 1:07 PM on September 22, 2006

Welcome our Slyph Overlords!
posted by xod at 1:10 PM on September 22, 2006

empath, Gozer the Gozerian has arrived. Leave town!
posted by redteam at 1:12 PM on September 22, 2006

If all of those pictures are real photographs, i'm amazed. Without scientific explanation, our ancestors must have been one confused, faithful lot.
posted by unwordy at 1:13 PM on September 22, 2006

Mmm-pancakes! Sorry, couldn't resist; this is actually a very cool post.
posted by TedW at 1:16 PM on September 22, 2006

clouds taste metallic

posted by snofoam at 1:16 PM on September 22, 2006

So you're saying many UFOs hide in clouds over mountains?
posted by black bile at 1:17 PM on September 22, 2006

empath: Uzumaki
posted by sonofsamiam at 1:22 PM on September 22, 2006

empath: my guess is that's a visible exhaust/condensation cloud from a helicopter that was circling.
posted by chimaera at 1:28 PM on September 22, 2006

Remember the phrase "the voyages of discovery"? Actually, before the Europeans did it, there was another group which engaged in some epic voyages of discovery: the Polynesians, who found and colonized the Pacific islands using nothing more complicated than outrigger canoes to cross thousands of miles of ocean in search of a few specks of land they didn't necessarily even have any reason to believe existed at all.

They were amazing mariners, and one of the reasons they were able to succeed is that they were very keen observers of nature. For instance, they knew they were near land when they started seeing gulls and other seabirds. And they sometimes detected the exact locations of islands from great distances by observing those kinds of lenticular clouds over them, even though the islands were beyond and under the horizon.
posted by Steven C. Den Beste at 1:36 PM on September 22, 2006

empath: Without a sense of scale, I'm going to have to second the argument that it's aircraft exhuast, probably a helicopter.

The darkness/color, the puffs of turbulance in the structure all make it look like exhaust.

But I'll be damned if I've ever seen anything leave an exhaust trail like that. WTF? Was it particularly cold/dry that day?
posted by loquacious at 1:41 PM on September 22, 2006

Indeed, it looks like an exhaust trail. As tight a circle as it is, it'd almost have to be a helicopter.

Or a UFO with AWD.

Near the bottom of the page linked by the OP, you'll see two photos of a tornado in Kansas. I witnessed this tornado as well. My view...

One of the prettiest tornadoes I've ever seen.
posted by jal0021 at 1:53 PM on September 22, 2006

Those ones from New Zealand look like Cthulu. esp.Mike Burch / Taken at sunset in Paremata, New Zealand
posted by Smedleyman at 1:54 PM on September 22, 2006

Great shot!
posted by Hildegarde at 1:54 PM on September 22, 2006

so damn cool

posted by MNDZ at 1:54 PM on September 22, 2006

That's no cloud....
posted by Sk4n at 1:55 PM on September 22, 2006

Very cool. Thanks.
posted by Bort at 2:11 PM on September 22, 2006

We see clouds like that often out here in the northern part of Los Angeles. Lenticular clouds, mountains, sunset, filthy smog... it all paints a beautiful canvas.
posted by katillathehun at 2:26 PM on September 22, 2006

Hildegarde writes "but what's with the goofy characters?"

She wanted to get that annoying tick into the comment box?

empath writes "A friend of mine took some pictures of a wierd spiral cloud formation that I couldn't figure out what it was."

Could have been a seeding plane. We can sometimes see trails from the seeding plane doing hail suppression. Usually the track is back and forth rather than circular though.
posted by Mitheral at 2:37 PM on September 22, 2006

Every single on of those pictures were clouds trying to form a Goatse in the skies.
posted by Astro Zombie at 2:38 PM on September 22, 2006

Q: Neat pictures, but what's with the goofy characters?


That's the best riposte I've seen in a long time. Zing!
posted by CynicalKnight at 2:45 PM on September 22, 2006

ah darn, the site's section on UFO pics is password protected...
posted by Vindaloo at 2:49 PM on September 22, 2006

Unless that seeding plane was way the hell high up, that's a really tight orbit, and it's surprisingly precise without any nearby visual reference points. I guess a small plane could do it if the pilot really watched his altitude and there wasn't much wind, though.
posted by pax digita at 3:15 PM on September 22, 2006

I think the spiral is probably a helicopter's contrail. I'd guess it was probably a TV/radio helicopter (common) and it was circling something interesting (traffic accident, crime in progress, etc.).

The site itself -- well, we get all these cool cloud pictures that imply "This is probably the UFO you've been looking for," and then maybe 20% of the way in, we get this:
However for many these are not natural formations, but something not of this world, from higher dimensions rather...In the Bible there is much written about cloudships. The Bible is referring to some type of flying craft that possess an ability to hover in one place for a longer time and appears in the sky surrounded with clouds.Ancient texts describe how pilots could using correct proportions of certain chemicals give their flying machine "the appearence of a cloud"
posted by booksandlibretti at 3:43 PM on September 22, 2006

yes, this site is mammalian guano!
posted by riotgrrl69 at 3:51 PM on September 22, 2006

Way cool. The wave clouds are so strange.
posted by skilletfish at 4:18 PM on September 22, 2006

brooks: I think some of those are captions from the original photographer or something.
posted by delmoi at 4:39 PM on September 22, 2006

Yeah, but in other cases, it seemed like photographers' captions were italicized and had names appended. That quote is just from the section header on lenticular clouds.
posted by booksandlibretti at 5:53 PM on September 22, 2006

These photos are just too beautiful. Thanks riotgrrrrrrrrrl!
posted by flapjax at midnite at 6:57 PM on September 22, 2006

SCDB: They did amazing things with wave patterns, too. The book Mathematics Elsewhere talks about this a bit (and mostly about how they made maps).
posted by hattifattener at 9:31 PM on September 22, 2006

They went on forever, they - when I - we lived in Arizona and the skies always had little fluffy clouds in em and they were long and clear and there were lots of stars at night. And uh when it would rain they would all turn, they were beautiful, the most beautiful skies as a matter of fact. The sunsets were purple and red and yellow and on fire. (The Orb's "Little Fluffy Clouds")
Good post!
posted by BlackLeotardFront at 9:34 PM on September 22, 2006

I guess we don't get lenticular clouds much in my part of Texas...I've never seen any, and I've always loved cloudwatching. We get lots of cirrus clouds, fish-scale clouds before a storm, and some amazing thunderheads drifting across the sky and making everything beneath them seem incredibly small. I still remember my whole math class in HS pausing to watch a magnificent cloudfront sweep across the sky outside our windows...and how the temps dropped immediately, bringing in a blue norther. Weather rocks.
posted by emjaybee at 10:21 PM on September 22, 2006

Cool post, riotgrrl69. Thx!
posted by paulsc at 12:30 AM on September 23, 2006

Lenticular clouds need a mountainside or a large hill to force a large amount of air up into other, colder layers of air. That's why there are so many pictures of them formed over mountains. That's one of the types of clouds I'll accept not seeing here in Indiana. Must see it sometime when I'm out in Colorado or something. I still want to see wave clouds. They look so fake, like the grade school waves in a play (as far as television tells me).
posted by Phantomx at 3:40 AM on September 23, 2006

I had two thoughts when I saw this.

1. When I was a wee lad, my teacher said Van Gogh suffered from paranoid delusions, which explained his 'Starry Night' painting cause no one sees stuff like that in the sky (her words. not verbatim) and I see that she was clearly wrong about that.

2. I think I need to get out more often. In my almost 30 years on this planet, I ain't never seen no shit like that. Nifty.
posted by revmitcz at 4:09 AM on September 23, 2006

Clouds make me happy. Thanks.

The exception being angry clouds
posted by moonshine at 9:55 AM on September 23, 2006

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