Like a flaming finger waving among the clouds, a strange light phenomenon captured in the sky above Greenwood, Indiana, has caught the attention of the Internet.
Posted to YouTube on June 12, the man going by QuadeM13 on the video-sharing site said he was out riding his bike before a storm and caught this on video.
"That is weird," QuadeM13 said in the video.
"That was the strangest thing I've ever seen," he added later.
Watch the footage (Content warning: strong language throughout):
After his video started getting attention and comments, QuadeM13 wrote that he believed the light phenomenon was a "crown flash." Others label it a "leaping sundog."
Upon inspection and contemplation, a leading hypothesis for its cause has now emerged. In sum, this hypothesis holds that a lightning discharge in a thundercloud can temporarily change the electric field above the cloud where charged ice crystals were reflecting sunlight. The new electric field quickly re-orients the geometric crystals to a new orientation that reflects sunlight differently. In other words, a lightning discharge can cause a sundog to jump. Soon, the old electric field may be restored, causing the ice crystals to return to their original orientation. To help this curious phenomenon become better studied, sky enthusiasts with similar jumping or dancing sundog videos are encouraged to share them.
Here's that earlier video: