Van Gogh, is that you in the sky? 

Residents living in the Smith Mountain Lake area of Virginia witnessed a rare sighting of Kelvin-Helmholtz wave-like clouds floating in the sky above Smith Mountain. Because of their odd, dramatic appearance, the photos of the clouds quickly started making waves across the internet – pun intended.

The Kelvin-Helmholtz clouds are very rare, occurring every few centuries. They appear on windy days when there is a velocity shear in a single continuous fluid. Science is incredible, amirite? If a plane was ever to encounter these winds, they would cause some scary turbulence – I don't want to be on that plane (*sobs internally*)! 


The clouds are named after the two gentlemen, Lord Kelvin and Hermann von Helmholtz, who studied the physics behind them.

A local photographer, Amy Hunter, snapped a quick photo of the clouds before they disappeared and then posted the photo to her personal page, along with a social media group page for the Smith Mountains.

See her post here:

Courtesy of Amy Christie Hunter

The clouds resemble the unique stroke from Van Gogh's famous painting, "Starry Night," and people have stated that they believe the clouds may have inspired the painting! How cool would that be if it were true? 

You be the judge: Do the clouds look similar to the painting?

Courtesy of Giphy

Have you seen these clouds before? Do you think they resemble the strokes from "Starry Night"? Do you think they are beautiful or eerie? Tell us your thoughts in the comments!