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You Won’t Believe What This Woman Discovered In The Sky In Iowa

In June of 2006, Jane Wiggins looked out of her office window in downtown Cedar Rapids and made a discovery unlike anything she ever expected. What Wiggins saw was a huge, wave-like cloud rolling over the city. She was so perplexed and amazed by this cloud, which was unlike anything she had ever seen. She took photos and sent them in to National Geographic, who posted them to their website, garnering national attention. Wiggins knew that this cloud was special, but what she didn’t know was that she had just taken the first photograph of a very rare, undiscovered type of cloud called the Undulatus Asperatus.

The video below is a time lapse showing the surreal, wavelike Undulatus Asperatus clouds moving through the sky. It’s truly magical to see, and unlike anything else you have experienced.

These special types of clouds are very rare, and are most often seen in Plains states like Iowa and Nebraska. They are thought to form when a Mammatus cloud is pushed and pulled by the wind, and warped into strange shapes. Most often, the clouds form around the time of a severe thunderstorm, though not always.

This bizarre cloud type’s name, Undulatus Asperatus, means “roughened wave,” and refers to the cloud’s wavelike appearance, which is somewhat reminiscent of a Van Gogh painting – starry night, anyone?

Since first being photographed in Cedar Rapids, this rare type of cloud has been spotted in several other places, including: Nebraska, Texas, Alabama and Canada. The Cloud Appreciation Society is now campaigning for the new classification, which would make the Undulatus Asperatus the first new cloud type since 1951. A decision on the classification will be made this November, but until then, we can enjoy the fact that we are lucky enough to experience such natural wonders, and hope that they come around again soon!

Michaela Kendall
Michaela is a born and raised Iowan. She writes for a newspaper by day, and writes content for websites by night. In her spare time, she enjoys reading a good book, or just binge watching Netflix.