Asperatus Clouds are Terrifyingly Beautiful

We’ve all done our fair share of cloud-gazing. The shapes they can form into, combined with the angle sunlight hits them from can make them look familiar, bizarre and ominous. In some cases though, specific climactic conditions can have a far more dramatic effect on them. Not a great deal is known about what actually causes asperatus clouds to form, it’s suggested that a meeting of warm, moist air descending to meet colder air is the primary culprit, given the parts of the world where they are most common.

They aren’t indicative of high winds or even necessarily an approaching storm, but the accented edges and dark shades make it look almost as if we’ve come into contact with some otherworldly canyon or stormy sea. If the sun’s in the right place it just looks like the fabric of the universe is coming apart. These cloud formations look so bizarre in fact that it’s hard to believe they aren’t computer-generated or photoshopped, but all the images you see below look exactly as they did on the day they were taken.


Taken by Bryan and Cherry Alexander in Qaanaaq, Greenland
Taken by Bryan and Cherry Alexander in Qaanaaq, Greenland
Taken by Jesse Klein in Wisconsin, U.S.A.
Taken by Witta Priester in New Zealand
Taken by Allan Gathman in Perthshire, Scotland
Taken by Ken Prior in Perthshire, Scotland
Taken by Ti Cranium in Ohio, U.S.A.
Taken by Robert Lurie in Cape Town, South Africa

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