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What was that weird thing in the sky?

Can someone help me with this?

While on the 417 on our way to Montreal on Friday, my 6 year old asked “what’s that in the sky?”.

This pic was taken about 20 minutes east of the Walkley exit. We jotted down the exact lat/long if anyone is interested..

It was a completely cloudless day around 10:15 am when the white puff appeared. This photo is fairly unremarkable – and it was taken with my iPhone so not a lot of detail. But a few seconds before this shot, the white puff more resembled an inverted trapezoid with five distinct and evenly spaced parallel lines running from top to bottom. My daughter said it looks like a folded paper fan. I thought it looked like the contrails of an aerial acrobatic team doing one of those “go straight up and then apart” moves.

Yeah – I know that is a technical term. Sorry.

It was about the size of a nickel when held at arms length and transformed into a small cloud that gradually dissipated over the next several minutes.

And I woulda guessed that to be the case – as it was the day after Canada Day and it was conceivable that the Snowbirds were off playing somewhere yonder… but the “cloud” seemed to be at a very high altitude… I know what 10,000 feet looks like form the ground and I would guessimate this to be at least twice that.

Anyhoo – it was one of the weirdest things I have ever seen and would love to hear some guesses as to what it was.

Any no, I wasn’t drinking, I was on my meds and the RLG and the subunit saw it too.


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  1. I’d go with Gord’s explanation.

    It could also be the start of a cumulus cloud… they do start from nothing. However, if it was, it’s likely it would have grown to a big cloud soon enough.

    I used to launch model rockets (yes, even as an adult). In order to enhance their aerial visibility, I’d often load powdered paint into them so that when the ejection charge went it would make a big puff in the sky. Model rockets only have a short duration of tracking smoke, so it’s possible someone was doing something like that – far enough away (or long enough after the fact) that you couldn’t see the rocket, but the puff in the sky remains.

  2. XUP says:

    It sounds like it could have been an aurora of some sort?

  3. gordon says:

    It might have been one of those flash-bang fireworks being fired off during the day.

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