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People Are Freaking Out Over This Rare Type Of Cloud

It's called a horseshoe cloud and it's incredibly rare.

Posted on March 9, 2018, at 10:23 p.m. ET

The National Weather Service posted photos of a strange-looking cloud on Twitter Friday and, well, people had a lot to say about the atmospheric phenomenon.

One of the rarest clouds ever. This was taken over Battle Mountain, Nevada, USA on 8 March 2018. It's called a horseshoe cloud for obvious reasons. #nvwx Credit goes to eagle-eye Christy Grimes.

Many likened the cloud to a giant mustache or staple.

omg god’s mustache fell off

@NWSElko @NWSSeattle Looks more like a wire staple.

Some photoshopped the image to prove their point.

NWS meteorologist Paul Frisbie told BuzzFeed News the horseshoe cloud forms when a cumulus cloud dissipates in a warm, moist atmosphere with changing wind speed and direction.

"The cloud is in the process of dying and this is like the last stage before it disappears," Frisbie said.

This type of cloud is so rare because they're created under conditions that typically don't occur at the same time. They also don't last very long, Frisbie said.

Christy Grimes, who took the photos, told BuzzFeed News the cloud vanished after about a minute. She spotted it outside her Battle Mountain, Nevada, home while walking to her car on Thursday.

"I just decided to take some pictures to show everyone," she said. "I didn't think they would believe me."

Her sister sent the photo to the NWS because they wanted to know what kind of cloud it was.

"This was the first one I’ve seen like that," Grimes said.

So there you have it. Mystery solved.

A BuzzFeed News investigation, in partnership with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, based on thousands of documents the government didn't want you to see.