When we first saw this video, taken on the coast of Sydney, what immediately popped into our heads was: It must be photoshopped. Yes, we are that suspicious of the internet. Little did we know that it’s actually a rare arcus cloud, a real, non-photoshopped weather phenomenon. Arcus (or shelf) clouds are low, horizontal formations associated with thunderstorms or cold fronts, AccuWeather explains. They can be pretty terrifying to see, conjuring the kind of effect we'd see in a disaster movie. Why so scary? They're often low-hanging and occur only a couple hundred feet from the ground. But Weather.com assures us they're just the leading edge of a storm, where downdrafts and updrafts of air meet. (They're not some evil mist containing prehistoric creatures coming to destroy our world. Whew!) Nick Moir, a storm chaser and photographer for the Sydney Morning Herald, is the shutterbug who caught this particular cloud in Sydney. He tweeted out several awesome shots of the phenomenon.
As amazing as the slow-moving cloud? The hoards of locals and tourists snapping themselves in front of the jaw-dropping backdrop. We would totally do the same.