The Seven Most Stunning Cloud Formations

Published September 19, 2013
Updated November 26, 2013

At their most basic level, clouds are no more than condensed water and/or ice. These fluffy white substances are created when warm air rises, cools, then condenses onto dust particles in the air, forming tiny droplets around each particle. As more and more particles attach together, a cloud forms.

Scientists primarily classify clouds by their altitude, shape and process of creation. Though there are four main cloud categories, cloud formations can be further broken down and described by more specific names, which are derived from Latin terms that describe their qualities.

Lenticular Clouds

Lenticular Clouds Field

Source: BBC

Cloud Formations Lenticular Mt. Ranier

Source: Napifalat

Lenticular clouds form at high altitudes, and are usually perpendicular to the wind. As evident in the following pictures, it is common for these clouds to form directly above or near mountains, as landforms create optimal air conditions for lenticular clouds. Lenticular clouds have a circular, lens-like shape that has prompted many false UFO sightings.

Lenticular Cloud

Source: Bored Panda

Mammatus Clouds

Mammatus Clouds

Source: WordPress

Mammatus clouds are quite possibly the most incredible, bizarre cloud formation in the world. Often forming on the underside of a thunderstorm’s anvil, they have a unique, often ominous, pouch-like shape. Mammatus clouds are also called mammatocumulus, meaning “mammary” or “breast” clouds.

Mammatus Clouds Over Farm

Source: 500PX

Mammatus Hanoi

Source: Fotopedia

Kiri Picone
Bay Area transplant Kiri Picone is a writer and marketer who loves bizarre news and the color purple.
Close Pop-in
Like All That's Interesting

Get The Most Fascinating Content On The Web In Your Facebook & Twitter Feeds