An image snapped by the International Space Station excited conspiracy theorists.
An image snapped by the International Space Station excited conspiracy theorists.

Rare sight from space station sparks scramble for answers

An incredible cloud phenomenon appearing to stretch thousands of miles across the Earth has sent conspiracy theorists into a frenzy.

The ominous shape resembles a contrail emitted by an aeroplane but is much longer, seemingly reaching from pole to pole.

Online commenters have pitched a host of fanciful ideas as to what may have caused the formation, but experts say it's simply a rare type of cloud.

This mysterious line appeared on an ISS live video feed.
This mysterious line appeared on an ISS live video feed.

It was spotted this week by an eagle-eyed space fan watching a public live feed from the International Space Station.

The mysterious clip was later uploaded to YouTube, baffling conspiracy nuts.

One commenter wrote: "It is a portal for things to travel through unseen/stealth."

Another quipped: "Looks MAN MADE . . . don't you think we should have answers for this???????"

But it turns out the strange line has a far simpler explanation.

One weather expert told The Sun the formation was a rare type of cloud.

David Schultz, a professor of synoptic meteorology at the University of Manchester, reckons a low pressure storm is responsible.

"It looks like the back edge of a cloud associated with an extratropical cyclone - i.e. a low-pressure system. It's unusual, but it is real," he said.

Satellite images showed a chunk of cloud appeared in the vicinity of the line on March 4, experts at the Met Office explained.

The Met Office offered up this satellite picture from March 4. Circled in yellow is the cloud formation.
The Met Office offered up this satellite picture from March 4. Circled in yellow is the cloud formation.

It appears to stretch across a massive portion of the Earth because of a trick of the light.

"Combined with the camera's perspective, this is making you think there is a very large shadow covering a big chunk of the earth," a spokesman said.

The perspective trick made the cloud appear "farther and straighter" than the image would have you believe, he added.

Looks like it's tough luck for conspiracy fans - though perhaps it's comforting to know a UFO wasn't blitzing across our skies.

 

This article originally appeared on The Sun and was reproduced with permission

The image was snapped on an ISS live feed app.
The image was snapped on an ISS live feed app.

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