A video of an unusual cloud formation, footage which some are regarding as an Internet hoax, has been proved authentic. The 34-second clip -- titled “Unknown Force Changing Cloud’s Shape" -- which shows a cloud appearing to “dance” in the sky, is now being classified as a cumulonimbus, a cloud associated with thunder storms.
Although rare, the phenomenon isn't completely unheard of, scientists say. An article in Discover magazine said the rapid movement was caused by electrical currents inside the cloud. WeatherVideoHD meteorologist Walter Lyons, who is credited with identifying the phenomenon, said long and needled ice crystals aligning with electric forces created the light-bending, weather show.
“What you are seeing is sunlight reflecting off ice crystal faces that are constantly being oriented by the developing electric field just above the [cumulonimbus] top,” Lyons said. “Then there is a discharge in the cloud, and the field collapses momentarily, and the crystals begin to realign again.”
The electric force cloud footage is just one of many atmospheric anomalies to hit the web in recent weeks. The latest report focused on the photographed remains of a freak hailstorm in the Canadian province of Alberta on Saturday. The now-viral image, captured by a pilot, shows a 10-mile long, two-mile-wide accumulation of hail left behind, all visible from the sky. The storm, which hit the cities of Calgary, Cochrane and Airdrie, was also highly documented in a large collection of YouTube videos.