Grey nomad cloud spotters find in-sky entertainment

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Grey nomads are cloud spotters
Great Britain has been spotted floating the sky. Have you seen Australia? PIC: Golcar Matt/ Weather Watchers

While most grey nomads would scoff at the suggestion that even the longest Outback drive is ‘boring’, most would nonetheless confess to occasionally seeking their own entertainment as they chew up kilometre after kilometre.

When there’s no rusting vehicle sculptures, giant termite mounds, or windmills to gaze at, it’s always worth a glance skyward in case the answer to the ‘interest drought’ is written in the skies.

Certainly, the ‘craze’ of cloud spotting appears to be gathering steam among grey nomads and others. In the UK recently, photographer Golcar Matt managed to capture this striking image of a cloud which bears an uncanny resemblance to the shape of Great Britain.

BBC Weather presenter Alina Jenkins said it was a common cumulus cloud, which can often be seen forming shapes in the sky.

“They’re formed by the sun heating the air at the surface,” she said. “The air then rises and as it does it cools and condenses to create the “cotton wool” type clouds which often take on interesting shapes … how many times have you thought one looks like an elephant or a train for example?”

Veteran grey nomad Cynthia Anderson says she often finds herself looking for unusual bizarre clouds on long drives.

“I’ve seen some really weird stuff almost by accident and now I find myself actively looking for recognisable shapes overhead,” she said. “I’ve seen sheep and dragons, and I once saw an amazing ‘Tony Abbott’ … my husband thinks I’m bonkers but its’ fun.”

For committed cloud watchers, one of the great appeals of the pastime is that the shapes are constantly changing and re-forming in different ways … and what one person sees isn’t always what someone else sees.

For example, the ‘Great Britain cloud’ looked a little different to BBC viewer, Christopher Broadbent.

“I know what it’s meant to look like,” he said. “But all I can see is the ghost in the original Ghostbuster film in the opening library scene!”

·         Do you look for people, places and things in the clouds? What familiar items have you seen in the skies as you travel? Comment below.

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