horseshoe cloud

Christy Grimes/Twitter

A rare horseshoe cloud was spotted over Nevada—and Twitter thinks it’s aliens

Alien omen or not, this sounds like good luck for Nevada.


Tess Cagle

Internet Culture

Posted on Mar 10, 2018   Updated on May 21, 2021, 10:11 pm CDT

A rare horseshoe cloud was spotted over Battle Mountain, Nevada on Friday and folks on Twitter are having a hard time believing our extraterrestrial friends had nothing to do with it.

The National Weather Service shared photos of the phenomenon, captured by “eagle-eye” Christy Grimes. The tweet said the horseshoe cloud formation is one of the rarest cloud formations ever.

Also called mustache clouds, horseshoe clouds form when there is a lot of vorticity (a measure of rotation) in the air, according to Weather Scapes. The clouds form when a small cumulus updraft interacts with the surrounding air and forms a dipole vortex. They’re most common during supercell storms, when winds rush in to feed the storm. Conditions are rarely perfect for this kind of cloud formation—and when they do form, it’s usually short-lived.

Still, people don’t see these types of clouds very often. So, obviously, the internet had to jump at the chance to meme this cloud.

While some chose to make jokes about the shape of the cloud, others put on their thinking caps and questioned if the cloud really appeared because of weather, or if aliens were actually behind the anomaly.

Aliens or not, horseshoes have been historically seen as symbols of good luck. Sounds like good news for the state of Nevada.  

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*First Published: Mar 10, 2018, 11:49 am CST