Colorful Mystery Cloud Forms Over Costa Rica

A beautiful, colorful mystery cloud that appeared over the skies in Costa Rica was captured on video, providing people around the world with an amazing — and stunning — spectacle at a very rare sight.

The amazing sight was seen on Tuesday in several cities, according to ABC News. People in San Jose, Parrita, Pavas, Escazu, and Hatillo were amazed as they turned their eyes to this amazing and eye-catching phenomenon.

#ElcieloExtraño #escazuCostaRica

A photo posted by MarceloCh (@morales2chelo_) on

Numerous videos of the mystery cloud were posted on YouTube within the past several days. The videos show what seems to be several large clouds stacked one above one another, with a dome-like cloud rising above them, with the top looking as though it was painted in rainbow colors. Several of these uploaded videos had titles that described the cloud as an “end of times” scene.

One Costa Rica resident, Joey Petit, saw the mystery cloud as he and his family were celebrating Costa Rica’s Independence Day.

“We were just so amazed. We had no idea what it was and we’d never seen anything like it.”

YouTube user Jessie Montealegre uploaded her video of the rainbow-like mystery cloud and was practically stunned by its beauty and its rarity.

“You guys, I have never seen anything like this,” the Washington Post quoted her as saying in the video.

So how did this mystery cloud come about? How exactly was it formed?

As the Washington Post explains, this mystery cloud is called a pileus cloud, or a “cap cloud,” as the way it tops up a stack of other clouds suggests.

According to the Washington Post, these rare mystery cloud formations occur as a thunderstorm develops, “when a strong updraft of rising air is present in cumulus clouds.” This updraft pushes up a layer of the cloud a little higher.

“The moisture in this thin layer cools and condenses into cloud droplets, which forms the wispy, flat cloud that caps the storm,” the Post explains.

These little droplets cause sunlight to bend into the colors of the rainbow, turning this rather normal cloud into the colorful mystery cloud that appeared over the skies of Costa Rica.

IlluOminous perturbations. #escazu #sanjose #costarica

A photo posted by @kevinotway on

To further prove that this mystery cloud is not a sign of the end of times, as some have suggested, a similar mystery cloud appeared over Colorado in 2007. NASA posted a picture of it and captioned it with a similar explanation to the phenomenon.

So while there is a scientific explanation to the mystery cloud, it still does not diminish its beauty.

[Photo via YouTube]