‘Holy crap!’: Orca-shaped cloud turns heads in Port Alberni

'Holy crap!': Orca-shaped cloud turns heads in Port Alberni
In Port Alberni, Amanda Provencal spotted this orca-shaped cloud on Sunday, March 24, 2024.

Amanda Provençal was driving through Port Alberni Sunday when she looked to the skies and spotted a cloud resembling an animal synonymous with the West Coast.

“I looked up, and I was like, ‘Holy crap!'” said Provençal.

The sun was still shining around 6:45 p.m., and she and her children were stunned by what they saw — a cloud shaped just like an orca.

“We’ve all laid on the ground and looked at clouds, and we were all pretty excited because it looked just like (an orca),” she told CHEK News Monday.

“I told them to snap a picture quickly.”

Then they uploaded the photo to social media. Since then, it’s gone viral, garnering thousands of reactions on Facebook, where people have praised Provençal for sharing it.

“I’m excited for everyone to be able to enjoy it,” she said.

An Environment Canada meteorologist told CHEK News the orca-shaped cloud may have been a lingering patch of low clouds.

“Also with clearing skies, daytime heating from the Sun will cause air to rise, which could partly explain the protruding shape that looked like a dorsal fin,” they said.

“There are meteorological reasons for general shapes of clouds, but clouds resembling specific animals are mostly due to coincidence in this case.”

And what a coincidence it was.

Many online, including Mid Island-Pacific Rim MLA Josie Osbourne, were quick to comment that the unique sighting came a day after an orca died on a northern Vancouver Island beach.

“This photo was captured by #PortAlberni’s Amanda Provençal on Sunday, the day after the sad news of the death of killer whale T109A3 near Zeballos,” Osbourne wrote on X.

“It makes me hopeful that her calf will reunite with its extended family,” wrote Osbourne. “(Prayers) to all who did everything they could to save her.”

For Provençal, the cloud photo is something she and her kids will treasure forever.

“I’m a firm believer in the spirits,” she added.

READ ALSO: Whale researchers and First Nations have hope for orca calf near Zeballos

Ethan MorneauEthan Morneau

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