Backlit clouds spark end-of-the-world speculations in Costa Rica

By @vitthernandez on
Costa Rica Clouds 2
The Costa Rican National Meteorological Institute explains that sun rays that refract on water droplets and ice crystals in the cloud resulted in the highlighted sphere outlines in the sky and explosion of bright colours “winging their way in a bow shaped over the could formation.” Facebook

Residents of several cities in Costa Rica witnessed backlit clouds in September, which triggered end-of-the-world speculations. The clouds were spherical-shaped and looked like a mushroom lit from behind.

Residents of Hatilllo, Escazu, Pavas, Parrita and San Jose took photos of the clouds and posted it on social media. Speculations ranged from an alien invasion to the Apocalypse predicted in the Bible. But weather scientists say it is the rare phenomenon cloud iridescence, Elitereaders reports on Monday.

The Costa Rican National Meteorological Institute explains that sun rays that refract on water droplets and ice crystals in the cloud resulted in the highlighted sphere outlines in the sky and explosion of bright colours “winging their way in a bow shaped over the could formation.”

Costa Rica Clouds The cartoon-like rainbow cloud image was mistaken to be Photoshopped because its beauty appears unrealistic.  Facebook

Mashable reports that the cloud formation that led to the rainbow is called a "pileus" or “cap cloud.” It occurs when rainshowers are building up or thunderstorms are rising quickly in height, which in turn, causes the air above it to rise quickly, cool and condense into a cloud that looks like a hat sitting on top of another cloud. The Pileus cloud formation is a signal that a storm is quickly gaining strength, meteorologists add.

RT reports that the cartoon-like rainbow cloud prompted heated online debate between atheists and creationists about the cause of the stunning light. It notes, “If it weren’t for YouTube videos that onlookers posted, one would think it was Photoshopped, as the beauty of the phenomenon appears unrealistic.”

Posted on Sept 15 in YouTube, the video has become viral with almost 400,000 views.

Among the interesting comments about the approximately minute-long video, is one from Michael Zimmermann, who wrote, “I’ve seen clouds for over 50 years. I’ve never seen that. I’m willing to bet it was some criminal activity of the terrorist American government.”

Efrain Rosario warned, “Repent of your sins and seek Jesus before its too late.” But for mew19forever, “Nature is breathtakingly beautiful. Wonders are still found in the world everyday if we only take a moment to look.”

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