Eerie footage has emerged of a gigantic mushroom-shaped cloud looming in the sky near Chernobyl, sparking fears from concerned residents in Ukraine.
The spectacular phenomenon was captured in the city of Kiev, less than 60 miles from Chernobyl, the site of the world’s worst nuclear disaster in 1986 when a reactor meltdown caused a major radiation leak.
In the footage, the apocalyptic cloud spans a huge distance over a lake near Kiltseva Road in a clear bright sky.
It shapes like a funnel with a narrow bottom and a flat top.
In a separate clip taken by passengers from a bus show the remarkable size of the cloud as it is seen visible from behind the buildings.
The video was later posted on YouTube on Friday, June 19 and viewers speculated that Russia’s president Vladimir Putin may have been testing nuclear weapons while others feared it could be a “UFO”.
One posted the comment with an alien emoji: “I saw a similar cloud, at sunset, the red cloud looks scary!”
Another one suggested: “Has Putin really dealt a nuclear strike on Kukuev?”
Ukrainian officials were alerted of the sightings and have since told the public not to panic.
Ukrainian State Emergency Service later shared photos with the caption: “Admit it, who got scared?”
They explained that it was a naturally-occurring weather phenomenon and there was no reason to panic.
The officials added that the unusual cloud is “known as an anvil cloud”.
They added: “We have had these types of clouds before above Kiev Oblast, Ternopil Oblast and Vinnitsa.”
An anvil cloud, also called cumulonimbus incus, is a cumulonimbus cloud which has reached stratospheric stability and has formed the characteristic flat, anvil-top shape.
The clouds typically do not move, no matter how strong the wind is, and later slowly disappear.
If often signifies on oncoming thunderstorm.