Australia Residents Snapped Photos Of A Rare, Rainbow-Filled Cloud Phenomenon

November 12, 2014

Residents of Wonthaggi, Australia, were taken off guard after seeing a rare phenomenon in the sky.

rainbow cloud
Credit: LEESA WILLMOTT, AP

This is a "hole punch" cloud, also known as a fallstreak hole cloud.

According to National Geographic, "Clouds are made of water droplets, and hole punch clouds occur when part of that cloud falls out, leaving behind a hole. That opening in the cloud is the result of an extremely localized snowfall."

rainbow holepunch cloug
Jose Morales

The refraction of sunlight by the snow's ice crystals results in the rainbow.

Pretty cool, huh?

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