NASA space photo shows odd-looking sky holes near Florida.

A NASA satellite snapped a photo of giant ring-shaped clouds over the Gulf of Mexico.

You can see this phenomenon, called cavum clouds, from the ground and in space. 

Cavum clouds have a natural explanation but have been mistaken for aliens and other odd phenomena. 

Earlier this year, NASA's Terra satellite was zipping over the Gulf of Mexico when one of its instruments snapped a photo of some odd-looking clouds.

The clouds looked like someone had taken a hole punch to the sky.

This unusual phenomenon isn't new. Researchers have been documenting it since the 1940s, according to NASA. But it wasn't until about 15 years ago that scientists finally found an explanation.

The features are officially called cavum clouds but are sometimes nicknamed hole-punch clouds or fallstreak holes. They're so big that you can see them from the ground and in space.

It's no wonder people have mistaken them for flying saucers or other unusual phenomena. They don't look like your average cloud.

And, in fact, they aren't your average cloud. If it weren't for human technology, cavum clouds would never exist.

They form when airplanes fly through banks of midlevel altocumulus clouds — clouds made of supercooled droplets — according to a pair of studies published in 2010 and 2011.

Source: www.businessinsider.com


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