If you enjoy seeing Mother Nature’s finest work, then you’re going to love these iridescent clouds seen on a mountain in Siberia.
Local photographer Svetlana Kazina was the lucky one who caught the rare natural phenomenon on camera. The clouds, lingering high above the earth, seem to reflect a rainbow of colors – something not many people are able to see in person, and certainly not with the same vividness and brightness.
“The clouds in my photos are so thin that they look more like lace,” says Svetlana, commenting on their lacey, drifting appearance.
Svetlana, who lives in the Altai Mountains, snapped these breathtaking pictures of the glowing sky over Belukha mountain, Siberia’s highest peak (4,506 metres/14,783ft).
The images show thin clouds resembling soap bubbles in their many vibrant colors.
What are iridescent clouds?
Cloud iridescence or irisation is a colorful optical phenomenon that occurs in a cloud and appears in the general proximity of the Sun or Moon. The colors resemble those seen in soap bubbles and oil on a water surface. It is a type of photometeor.
You might on occasion see a rainbow-like cloud. They’re fairly rare, but people do spot them, and sometimes they’re lucky enough to capture photos of them. They’re caused by the presence of very tiny ice crystals or water droplets in the air, which cause light to be diffracted (spread out).
‘I pictured this beauty over Siberia’s highest peak, Belukha, early in the morning’, said Svetlana.
‘The wind at this height was so strong that the cloud ‘lace’ changed every second.’
The Altai Mountains in southern Siberia include some of Russia’s most stunning scenery, a haven for travelers who want to escape from the modern world.
A rare event
The Altai were formed during the great orogenic (mountain-building) upthrusts occurring between 500 and 300 million years ago and were worn down, over geologic time, into a peneplain (a gently undulating plateau with generally accordant summit heights).
The mountain range itself is majestic, but the sights that can be seen in Siberia’s Switzerland, as it is lovingly called, are unlike anywhere else in the world.
These delicate iridescent clouds look like ethereal jellyfish, floating through a sky of diamonds. I can only imagine how it felt to see these incredible works of natural art in person, with my own eyes. The photos are amazing, but imagine seeing it for yourself.