A bizarre photo of a spherical cloud hovering over Fujisawa City in Kanagawa, Japan has baffled Internet users across the world. According to the woman who snapped the picture of the otherworldly looking cloud that resembles Death Star from Star Wars, it was shot from her car and was unedited.
“When I looked out of the car window I saw a round ball-shaped cloud. I gazed at the cloud for a while then I rushed to take the photo,” the woman wrote.
She added: ”When I saw the cloud it was an even more spherical shape, so I regret not taking the photo more quickly.”
While the photo is yet to be independently verified, it’s actually not the first time a rare spherical cloud has been seen in recent years. In 2015, Twitter user @NicoSpqy9ba9 (Nico) capture a similar phenomenon elsewhere in the same country.
Some believe that spherical cloud is actually a roll cloud, which a is a rare type of low, horizontal cloud formation that is typically brought about by cold fronts. It is usually associated with thunderstorms. However, others pointed out that roll clouds are cylindrical in shape and never round.
Meanwhile, atmospheric scientist Todd Lane from the University in Melbourne, Australia thinks that the cloud can just be another uninteresting cloud. Lane made the suggestion after one Fujisawa local photographed the same cloud from a different perspective-this time it wasn’t as round as the other photo.
Speaking to Science Alert, Lane said:”That is, the photographer was lucky to be in the right place to capture an interesting image of what is likely an uninteresting cloud. It looks to me to be some form of cumulus fractus cloud.”
What is a cumulus fractus cloud?
Described as low-hanging, fragmentary clouds, cumulus fractus clouds are typically small bits that have been separated off the edges of bigger clouds by strong winds.