Strange clouds are often hailed as omens of impending danger or a herald of the end times. Just ask the residents of Nanjing, China, who saw their ancient city enveloped in a bizarre pink cloud last year. What impending doom did that cloud herald, you ask? Why, apocalyptic levels of industrial air pollution, of course.
Similar sightings of strange clouds have sparked concern in Switzerland, where unusual cloud formations have been spotted hovering above CERN. Naturally, conspiracy theorists took to the web to speculate that CERN physicists had opened some sort of interdimensional portal with the Hadron Collider. If only… More recently, mysterious neon blue noctilucent clouds appeared over Antarctica much earlier in the year than usual, naturally spurring apocalyptic climate change speculation.
To add to the doom-and-gloom cloud news, Japanese news site Rocket News has reported the appearance of a bizarre spherical cloud seen hovering above a train station in the town of Fujisawa just south of Tokyo. Some of the photos of the cloud show an otherwise clear blue sky, with the otherworldly orb of cloud floating ominously low to the ground. Twitter user “Poppy” was the first to share the images on Twitter on December 5th, causing social media users around the world to speculate about what ill tidings the cloud might presage.
Fujisawa residents were mesmerized by the bizarre cloud, which eventually dissipated. Many sources have speculated that the cloud was actually a rare meteorological phenomenon known as roll clouds, which are tube-shaped cloud formations which occur on the edges of seaborne storms as cool air “rolls” out on the winds of sea breezes. However, this cloud was spherical and not tube-shaped, causing some meteorologists and netizens alike to conclude that this cloud must have been something different altogether.
Reddit user Bbrhuft claimed that this Japanese “Death Star” cloud could be the same mysterious “fog dome” that was spotted hovering over the Welsh village of Tremeirchion last week. Could this be a new type of “cloud-cloaking device” that some UFO theorists claim exist? Or perhaps a new type of alien life form come to visit the human zoo exhibit we call Earth? Probably neither. Let’s go with an odd cloud.