Spanning every stretch of the globe, there are countless instances of strange aerial phenomena that are seen flitting around in the skies above us on a daily basis. While the majority of these are explainable, there are a few occurrences that remain baffling to such an extent that we are forced to muster terms like Unidentified Aerial Phenomenon for them; while many strange manifestations seem natural in origin, we are from time to time also treated to airborne weirdness that could just as easily constitute categorization in the “UFO” camp, often appearing to have manufactured or technological origin.

The video linked above represents just this sort of anomalous behavior… as one can see, the clouds this observer managed to film certainly aren’t behaving in any way consistent with average, everyday atmospheric phenomenon. Does this represent something truly anomalous and unexplained, or could there be any sort of logical explanation? As wild as what we’re seeing in this video seems, the answer to this atmospheric riddle may surprise you…

Indeed, the mysterious “dancing clouds” seen in the video above look very otherworldly; readers of this blog might even consider such things as UFO invisibility, which I’ve often referenced in past articles and numerous other publications. But the unique behavior we’re witnessing here is no UFO, in this instance at least. Instead, what we’re seeing is the result of a unique combination of atmospheric ice crystals orienting themselves around electric discharges.

Slashdot Daily News carried the story today, quoting The Bad Astronomer of Discover News fame, who said a meteorologist had provided him with the following explanation:

“(He) told me it was due to ice crystals re-aligning when the cloud’s electric field discharged. It’s pretty amazing to watch, and a great example of how many cool things happen right in front of us that we never notice.”

Amazing indeed… and just to show what other kinds of natural phenomenon can easily appear to resemble UFOs, take the following video footage of a volcano emitting a perfect smoke ring, with special consideration given to reports of UFOs resembling “jellyfish.” While volcano smoke-rings are hardly an everyday phenomenon, what we see below nonetheless illustrates how natural phenomenon can indeed appear to mimic nature’s other (even invertebrate) aspects:

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Author: Micah Hanks

Micah Hanks is a writer, researcher, and podcaster. His interests include areas of history, science, archaeology, philosophy, and the study of anomalous phenomena in nature. He can be reached at

One Reply to “Dancing Clouds: Ice, Electricity, and Unexplained Aerial Phenomenon”

  1. It certainly brings about a lot of interesting questions, like the possibility of ‘programming’ clouds by controlling the arrangement of the ice crystals through electric fields.

    I also keep thinking about the possibility of plasmas being able to support consciousness. Like an article I read a long time ago (I think it was written by Paul Davies) where he theorized about the evolution of intelligent life billions of years into the future –long after all the stars in the Universe die out– and how, MAYBE, intelligent ‘life’ could still be supported by some sort of electric clouds that would keep expanding as the Universe grew colder and colder –back then we didn’t know about dark energy and its effects on the acceleration of the Cosmos.

    I guess Arthur C. Clarke said it best when he wrote:

    “Into pure energy, therefore, they presently transformed themselves? and on a thousand
    worlds the empty shells they had discarded twitched for a while in a mindless dance of
    death, then crumbled into rust.
    They were lords of the Galaxy, and beyond the reach of time. They could rove at will
    among the stars and sink like a subtle mist through the very interstices of space. But
    despite their godlike powers, they had not wholly forgotten their origin in the warm slime of
    a vanished sea.

    And they still watched over the experiments their ancestors had started, so long ago.”

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