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UFO? Bizarre 'roll cloud' in Tennessee stuns residents

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Colby Hutton, of Adamsville, Tennessee, snapped a picture of a roll cloud after a thunderstorm struck.

Colby Hutton, of Adamsville, Tennessee, snapped a picture of a roll cloud after a thunderstorm struck.  (Colby Hutton)

A funnel-like cloud filled the sky in Tennessee as a thunderstorm in the area came to a halt. Residents were stunned by the mysterious cloud formation, which some compared to a UFO.

Angie Hutton told Fox News on Tuesday that her son, Colby, of Adamsville, snapped a photo of the cloud while traveling over the Harrison-McGarity Bridge in Savannah several weeks ago.

Hutton sent the picture to WMC-TV in Memphis, hoping meteorologists at the news station would be able to identify the rare sight. Last week, WMC-TV confirmed the eerie scene was not a UFO after all — it's actually a roll cloud.

Roll Cloud

Colby Hutton  (Colby Hutton shares another view of the roll cloud he discovered while traveling over a Tennessee bridge.)

A roll cloud is a "tube-shaped" cloud that occasionally pops up after a thunderstorm.

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"Roll clouds are relatively rare; they are completely detached from the thunderstorm base or other cloud features, thus differentiating them from the more familiar shelf clouds," the National Weather Service (NWS) explains in a post online. "Roll clouds usually appear to be 'rolling' about a horizontal axis, but should not be confused with funnel clouds."

NWS Memphis said it resembled a "rolling pin moving through the sky" in a Facebook post earlier this month, which has been shared by hundreds of people. Dozens of people commented on the jaw-dropping photo — some even sharing stunning views of their own.

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"I love cloud formations!" one Facebook user wrote.

"Beautiful and scary," another commented.

"That cloud was [in] my view as I drove to Selmer that day. It was wild looking!" a woman added.

Jennifer Earl is an SEO editor for Fox News. Follow her on Twitter @jenearlyspeakin.

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