Is it a bird, is it a plane, is it a UFO? The Met Office explains all:
Well, it's likely none of the above, because the Met Office has taken to TikTok to explain how a simple weather phenomenon is the likely culprit.
So what is cause the strange-looking objects in the sky?
It's an altocumulus lenticularis, which isn't a Harry Potter spell – we checked.
The phenomenon, or 'stunning clouds' look a bit like a flying saucer and can account for a fair few UFO sightings. The Met Office told Edinburgh Live that while 'they are quite unusual in the British Isles' they do 'occasionally occur'.
“They look a lot like the traditional shape of flying saucers in science fiction, and real lenticular clouds are believed to be one of the most common explanations for UFO sightings across the world.
"When air blows across a mountain range, in certain circumstances, it can set up a train of large standing waves in the air downstream, rather like ripples forming in a river when water flows over an obstruction.
Wow, what a sky over Keswick tonight. @CumbriaWeather what do you make of this ? pic.twitter.com/Au6pOi1dhe— Sunnyside Guest House (@Sunnysidegh) March 19, 2022
"If there is enough moisture in the air, the rising motion of the wave will cause water vapour to condense, forming the unique appearance of lenticular clouds."
So, that spacey shape you see in the sky may be less of a star man and more of a, well, cloud.
If at this point you're a little disappointed, don't worry, because it turns out the phenomenon is pretty cool – literally. They can cause some strong winds and bring cold temperatures: "On the ground, they can result in very strong gusty winds in one place, with still air only a few hundred metres away."
The Met Office added: "Pilots of powered aircraft tend to avoid flying near lenticular clouds because of the turbulence that accompany them.
"Skilled (and brave) glider pilots, on the other hand, like them, because they can tell from the shape of the clouds where the air will be rising."
While that makes a lot of sense, how about the people that swear they saw a UFO?
Well, it may actually be pretty easy to tell the difference between a Lenticular cloud and a flying saucer. It's all in the movement, as the experts explain: "Lenticular clouds don’t move at all! They are entirely stationary."
So, if it's moving and looks like a flying saucer, it could be a UFO, or someone chucking a plate out of their window. If it's completely still, it could just be cloud.
Featured Image Credit: @metoffice/TikTok
Topics: Viral, TikTok, Social Media, UFO, Aliens