When weather looks out of this world: Incredible images of UFO-shaped clouds swirling atop mountains – Daily Mail

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They have in the past been mistaken for UFOS.

In fact, these are lenticular clouds: saucer-shaped formations which typically gather over mountain peaks.

Seen here captured in various locations around the world, they form when strong, wet winds blow over rough terrain.

When the moist air flow encounters obstructions, such as landforms or buildings, standing waves in the atmosphere are created. As the air condenses, the odd-shaped clouds are made.

It’s a relatively rare weather phenomenon, resulting in clouds that are stationary and lens-shaped, and sometimes resemble dramatic vortexes or tornadoes mid-strike.

Here, MailOnline Travel has amassed a collection of impressive images of lenticular clouds, hovering over landscapes from Mount Fuji to Alaska and beyond. 

Light, wispy spirals of cloud mark the vivid blue sky seen here in a scene captured over Mount Shasta in California Light, wispy spirals of cloud mark the vivid blue sky seen here in a scene captured over Mount Shasta in California

Light, wispy spirals of cloud mark the vivid blue sky seen here in a scene captured over Mount Shasta in California

Lenticular clouds are a relatively rare weather phenomenon, resulting in formations that are stationary and lens-shaped, seen here over Mount Fuji in Japan Lenticular clouds are a relatively rare weather phenomenon, resulting in formations that are stationary and lens-shaped, seen here over Mount Fuji in Japan

Lenticular clouds are a relatively rare weather phenomenon, resulting in formations that are stationary and lens-shaped, seen here over Mount Fuji in Japan

Seen above the town of Gevgelija in Macedonia, a lenticular cloud forming amid white streaks left by aircraft Seen above the town of Gevgelija in Macedonia, a lenticular cloud forming amid white streaks left by aircraft

Seen above the town of Gevgelija in Macedonia, a lenticular cloud forming amid white streaks left by aircraft

Apocalyptic grey clouds swirl over this mountain range in a staggering photo taken last year in an undisclosed location Apocalyptic grey clouds swirl over this mountain range in a staggering photo taken last year in an undisclosed location

Apocalyptic grey clouds swirl over this mountain range in a staggering photo taken last year in an undisclosed location

Mount Drum,  a stratovolcano built from alternate layers of lava and ash, located in the Wrangell Mountains of Alaska, is dwarfed by lenticular clouds Mount Drum,  a stratovolcano built from alternate layers of lava and ash, located in the Wrangell Mountains of Alaska, is dwarfed by lenticular clouds

Mount Drum,  a stratovolcano built from alternate layers of lava and ash, located in the Wrangell Mountains of Alaska, is dwarfed by lenticular clouds

A spiralling lenticular cloud shrouds Mount Fuji in Japan, captured at Lake Tanuki in the Fujinomiya, Shizuoka Prefecture A spiralling lenticular cloud shrouds Mount Fuji in Japan, captured at Lake Tanuki in the Fujinomiya, Shizuoka Prefecture

A spiralling lenticular cloud shrouds Mount Fuji in Japan, captured at Lake Tanuki in the Fujinomiya, Shizuoka Prefecture

Miscanti Lagoon looks painterly here as it sits under these saucer-shaped clouds near the Chilean town of San Pedro de Atacama Miscanti Lagoon looks painterly here as it sits under these saucer-shaped clouds near the Chilean town of San Pedro de Atacama

Miscanti Lagoon looks painterly here as it sits under these saucer-shaped clouds near the Chilean town of San Pedro de Atacama

 Pinkish lenticular clouds loom over the Tolbachik, a volcanic complex on the Kamchatka Peninsula in the far east of Russia  Pinkish lenticular clouds loom over the Tolbachik, a volcanic complex on the Kamchatka Peninsula in the far east of Russia

 Pinkish lenticular clouds loom over the Tolbachik, a volcanic complex on the Kamchatka Peninsula in the far east of Russia

The vivid clouds here have formed a particularly unusual pattern as they hover in an otherwise clear sky in Denver, Colorado  The vivid clouds here have formed a particularly unusual pattern as they hover in an otherwise clear sky in Denver, Colorado 

The vivid clouds here have formed a particularly unusual pattern as they hover in an otherwise clear sky in Denver, Colorado 

Only the peak of Mount Rainier can be seen here through a heavy cloak of fluffy clouds in Washington, with one lenticular formation perched on top Only the peak of Mount Rainier can be seen here through a heavy cloak of fluffy clouds in Washington, with one lenticular formation perched on top

Only the peak of Mount Rainier can be seen here through a heavy cloak of fluffy clouds in Washington, with one lenticular formation perched on top

This lenticular cloud formation rests like a hat on a distant volcano, photographed in the Virunga Mountains, Uganda This lenticular cloud formation rests like a hat on a distant volcano, photographed in the Virunga Mountains, Uganda

This lenticular cloud formation rests like a hat on a distant volcano, photographed in the Virunga Mountains, Uganda

Sunset at Mount Mckinley with a lenticular cloud overhead as seen from Wonder Lake in the  Denali National Park, Alaska Sunset at Mount Mckinley with a lenticular cloud overhead as seen from Wonder Lake in the  Denali National Park, Alaska

Sunset at Mount Mckinley with a lenticular cloud overhead as seen from Wonder Lake in the  Denali National Park, Alaska

Photographer Akihiro Shibata spotted these arc-like clouds circling the peak of Mount Fuji, the highest mountain in Japan Photographer Akihiro Shibata spotted these arc-like clouds circling the peak of Mount Fuji, the highest mountain in Japan

Photographer Akihiro Shibata spotted these arc-like clouds circling the peak of Mount Fuji, the highest mountain in Japan

Satellite dishes sit beneath a night sky bursting with stars at La Palma, in Spain's Canary Islands, as a series of lenticular clouds hover in between Satellite dishes sit beneath a night sky bursting with stars at La Palma, in Spain's Canary Islands, as a series of lenticular clouds hover in between

Satellite dishes sit beneath a night sky bursting with stars at La Palma, in Spain’s Canary Islands, as a series of lenticular clouds hover in between

The lenticular formation to the right has an electrifying effect in this shot taken on an unusually snowy day in Arizona The lenticular formation to the right has an electrifying effect in this shot taken on an unusually snowy day in Arizona

The lenticular formation to the right has an electrifying effect in this shot taken on an unusually snowy day in Arizona

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