Top Ten Most Bizarre Types of Clouds

The fact that clouds are able to form a huge variety of shapes makes them a very interesting part of nature. It doesn't really take an expert to identify these forms of clouds. These are the clouds you aren't likely to see everyday. Ranging from of wave-like clouds, to disproportionately long, thin shapes of clouds, this lists presents the most bizarre types of clouds, most of them that you probably never seen in your lifetime.
The Top Ten
Morning Glory Cloud

This cloud is one of the rarest yet most bizarre types of clouds you could possibly encounter once in a lifetime, but is although more common in Australia. These are a type of roll clouds that come in waves, and often take the appearance of long lines as seen on the image. They can span up to hundreds of miles long. It's still vague how these types of clouds form, but it is speculated that these clouds form when winds blow and collide from the west and east (and if there's enough moisture at the gulf), then these clouds will form. However, these clouds are able to form in multiple ways, but they cannot be explained.

Bizarrely beautiful. Cloud surfing, anyone?

Mammatus Clouds

While mammatus clouds come in distinct types of formations, these types of clouds typically look smoothly round-shaped, kind of like chunks of marshmallows floating in the sky, which are commonly associated with cumulonimbus clouds, anvil clouds, and other types of clouds in occasion. They are often formed when cold air descends. If these types of clouds come along with cumulonimbus clouds, this is a sure sign of a thunderstorm and other severe weather. There are a handful of theories stating the mysteries how this bizarre types of clouds form.

Lenticular Clouds

Often taking form of the saucer shape, these wide tornado-looking clouds are commonly mistaken as UFO sightings, and they come with various distinctive bizarre shapes such as hats (as seen by the image), lens, arcs, funnels, and even take on other types of clouds. Lenticular Clouds are more common near mountains and form when moist air flows over the slopes of the mountain which creates the waves. If these conditions are right, these bizarre clouds form.

Fascinating. I would have thought I had seen most types of clouds, but that is clearly not the case. Thank you for such a detailed and thorough list. This formation is really cool.

Looks a little bit like a pyramid!

Horseshoe Cloud

Taking the shape of the letter U, this is not the average cloud you see everyday, and this very bizarre cloud is no exception. This apparently, is a very rare type of cloud that only occurs when air gets caught in a spinning vortex. Like the diverse lenticular cloud, this cloud is mistaken as a sign of aliens especially when seen at first glance. What makes this cloud so rare is that they deform/fade at a fast rate and they are typically of small size, thus making it harder to spot.

Kelvin-Helmholtz Wave Cloud

Also known as billow clouds. If you think you haven't spot this cloud yet, your eyes might consider it fake due to its unrealistic shape. They take the appearance of crashing waves. Another name you can call them is tsunami clouds. This phenomenon doesn't only take place on the clouds, but also on oceans, and even on other planets. They may seem rare, but they can be a bit more common if you observe enough as they typically do not last long. If you want to spot this cloud, make sure you're on a windy day.

Supercell Storm Cloud

Supercell storm clouds are often associated with anvil clouds. You may have seen one. Although they are uncommon, they are a sign of severe weather including tornadoes, and apparently are harbingers of one of the most ravaging thunderstorms. These types of clouds can last up to hours

They look pretty amazing, yet harmful.

I definitely don’t want to run into that! Gives me chills up my spine

this is cool looking

Punch Hole Cloud

Also called a hole punch cloud, fallstreak cloud, or a cavum. They have a handful of nicknames, but let's stick to the punch hole cloud. This type of cloud are apparently large gaps that look as if they are punched open a hole (hence the name), typically taking the shape of a circle or oval. They are often seen on altocumulus or cirrocumulus clouds. These holes are formed when the temperature goes below the freezing point, and the supercooled droplets in the clouds are frozen into ice crystals, thus making these gaps form outward.

Polar Stratospheric Clouds

Also called nacreous clouds. These clouds typically hover as high as over 80,000 feet and which consist of ice crystals. Its most distinctive feature is the vibrant colors that shine bright on the clouds, especially in sunset and sunrise where sunlight typically is the strongest. Due to their uncommon appearances, they are only formed at very cold temperatures, typically near or at the north and south polar regions. Despite their vibrant appearance, these clouds possess danger and destruction to the ozone in the Arctic.

Noctilucent Clouds

Sharing similar traits to Polar Stratospheric Clouds, these types of clouds hover the highest altitudes compared to all types of clouds, up to a whopping 250,000+ feet high and are composed of ice crystals. They are mostly seen in the summer and spring months, and when the sun is below the horizon and are formed where temperature and dust (which are possibly from space) needs to be very cold if under the right conditions.

Pyrocumulus Clouds

This is also known as a Flammagenitus cloud, or simply a fire cloud. Seeing this usually humongous mass of smoke and vapor at first sight you may thought that a volcano has exploded nearby. Sometimes that may be true, but they are most often caused by very hot air and are associated with wildfires. Pyrocumulus clouds are also capable of making its own weather systems, and can be dangerous as they are a harbinger of violent winds.

The Contenders
Pileus Cloud

Also known as cap clouds or scarf clouds. This is a type of lenticular cloud composed of ice crystals that typically sit above thunderstorms when there's significant moisture laying above a heavy cumulonbus cloud; picture it like a hat or a halo sitting on top of the cloud. Pileus clouds are formed when air gushes up in a fast rate. At times they can be hard to see, as they fade quite quickly, and occasionally, iridescent colors could be seen on the Pileus cloud due to the sunlight shining on it. If you see this type of cloud, it is a sure sign that severe weather is bound to happen.

Cirrus Uncinus

Part of the cirrus cloud type, these clouds take the strange yet breathtaking shape of wispy hooks or tails. They drift fairly high and form at low temperatures. This cloud type name "unicus" means "hook" which describes the distinctive shape of the cloud.

Cirrocumulus Cloud
Undulatus Asperatus
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