They’ve been as much an important part of childhood as they are essential to life on earth. After all, who has looked up at the puffy, cotton candy-like formations and didn’t imagine a dragon, a sandwich, or heart shapes? Clouds not only fuel our imaginations, but they also ensure that life on this planet continues.
Here are a few fun facts about those white wisps we see in the sky.
Common Cloud Types
Cloud-watching can be a highly relaxing experience. Not only will you learn about basic cloud types, watching them float ever so slowly high above you can help you unwind.
Cumulus clouds are of course, the most famous of cloud types. Inasmuch as snowflakes have come to symbolize winter, the same can be said for these white puffy, round shapes with flattened, dark bottoms. Expect to see them during clear skies and bright, sunny days.
Cirrus clouds get their name from the Latin word meaning ‘curl of hair’. Thin, white, and wispy, these streak across the sky like feathers. You’re most likely to observe them fair weather days.
Stratus clouds on the other hand, seem like dense, gray fog that envelopes the horizon. Visualize a thick, gray sea hanging low in the sky – perfect for dark, dreary beginnings of a mystery or horror novel.
Nimbostratus clouds are also known as rain clouds. As the name suggests, they are thick, dark layers that block out the sun.
Why Clouds are Important
Aside from looking cute (on good, sunny days) or ominous (on dark, gloomy days), clouds serve a special purpose for our planet. Like a screen, they protect us from the sun’s rays when it gets too hot. And at night, they shield us from the cold much like a blanket. For scientists, especially meteorologists, they help provide information on precipitation, as well as indicate weather changes and patterns.
Studying clouds can also give hints about its formation on other planets. That’s right – clouds are not unique to Earth! Understanding how clouds work could very well aid us in searching for life on other galaxies.
Feeling wistful lately? Why not rest your eyes on these dreamy and realistic cloud photos?
Free Realistic Photos of Clouds
Cloudy sunset in amazing colors.
Amazing clouds in the sky over Koh Phangan.
Grey clouds covering the sky over Koh Phangan, Thailand.
Puffy clouds in the beautiful blue sky.
Sunset shining through dark clouds over Koh Phangan.
Dense and gray clouds over the Gulf of Thailand.
Sunshine passing through clouds and reflecting in the sea.
Rays of sunshine passing through a cloudy sky.
The sun shining through dense clouds in Koh Phangan.