These are photos showing a really bizarre cloud that looks like a huge snake in the sky and which has shocked residents in Japan.
The tube-like cloud captured on camera above the city of Niigata appears to be snaking down from a sky full of dark grey clouds.
Japanese media reports that the locals who witnessed the unusual cloud were “awe-struck” by the phenomenon.
Footage of the spectacle was sent to forecasting service Weathernews, which shared the footage on social media, attracted more than 60,000 retweets and liked 91,000 times in just two days.
In the clip, the tube of cloud starts to dissipate from the bottom up, seeming to swirl slightly as if it is being unravelled.
Over the course of a few seconds it dissipates along its entire length, all the way up to the grey parent cloud thousands of feet overhead.
The phenomenon is believed to be an example of what meteorologists call a funnel cloud.
Funnel clouds are the starting condition for a tornado to form. If the cloud reaches the ground or water, it becomes a tornado.
They are formed when a rotating wind swirls a column of water droplets into the characteristic needle or tube-like shape.
via: INFORMATION NIGERIA