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2023-08-17 08:51:10

The phenomenon of mysterious black rings in the sky

Феномен загадочных чёрных колец в небе


Mysterious black rings in the sky, also called black smoke rings or black vortices, have perplexed observers and researchers for several decades. These formations, usually characterized by a circular shape, dark hue and seeming to hang in the atmosphere, have been recorded in a wide variety of locations, on different continents and in different climatic zones. The persistence of this phenomenon and the lack of a universally accepted explanation have led to active speculation, giving rise to a number of theories attempting to decipher its origin.

Documented cases

Reports of mysterious black rings first surfaced several decades ago, with reports scattered around the world. Some known cases include the "Black Ring in the sky over Royal Leamington Spa" in the UK (2014), and the "Black Ring over Moscow in Strogino" near Moscow (2023). Similar rings have also been observed relatively recently in the USA, Vietnam, Kazakhstan, Mexico and many other places. 

Eyewitnesses often describe these rings as eerie, otherworldly phenomena, causing both awe and fear. The repeatability of these observations in different regions and under different atmospheric conditions suggests the existence of a consistent phenomenon.

Proposed theories

Many hypotheses have arisen in an attempt to explain the formation of black rings. Some researchers suggest that they may be the result of natural phenomena such as meteorological disturbances, smoke rings from explosions or eruptions. 

For example, similar white vapor rings appeared over the Etna volcano in Italy in 2023. According to NASA researcher Fabio Pulvirenti, such rings were observed not only over Etna, but also over some other volcanoes. The mechanism for creating vortex rings, described by him, looks like this: when magma rises up the vent, pressure drops allow dissolved gases in it to come out in the form of bubbles, when approaching the external environment these gas compounds can explode because of the pressure drop, pushing hot steam up, sometimes with almost supersonic speed. That's when such a ring forms.

It is worth noting that no threat to black clouds that have been seen in the sky above Moscow or other cities for others do not pose. But for example, some people note that this is quite a man-made phenomenon and it can be done "for the sake of hype". In particular, a similar effect was achieved in the 90's, when fans of special effects acquired powerful spotlights. They shone them into the clouds in the night sky, and some witnesses took the phenomenon for UFOs.

Other theories suggest a link to more exotic sources, including atmospheric anomalies or even extraterrestrial activity. Theories related to electromagnetic disturbances, plasma phenomena, and optical illusions have also been proposed. Despite all these efforts, none of the proposed explanations has been widely accepted because of the lack of complete data and the lack of reproducible observations.

Research Challenges

Understanding the nature of the mysterious black rings faces a number of challenges. The limited availability of data, often due to the sporadic and unpredictable nature of such observations, prevents a comprehensive analysis. In addition, reliance on eyewitness accounts and amateur photography can introduce inaccuracies and subjective interpretations. The varying conditions under which these formations are observed, including variations in weather, time of day, and geographic location, complicate the task of identifying general patterns.


The phenomenon of mysterious black rings in the sky remains an unsolved mystery that continues to attract the attention of both the public and the scientific community. The lack of an unambiguous explanation emphasizes the limitations of current scientific understanding and points to the need for further research. 

We can hope that with the development of technology and the integration of meteorological knowledge, atmospheric physics, optical sciences, ufology, sooner or later, may lead to a breakthrough. That will shed light on one of the mysteries of the natural world. In the meantime, the black rings in the sky serve as a reminder of the vastness of unexplored phenomena that still exist beyond the boundaries of our current knowledge.


Encyclopaedic reference
Земля - третья по удалённости от Солнца планета Солнечной системы. Самая плотная, пятая по диаметру и массе среди всех планет Солнечной системы и крупнейшая среди планет земной группы, в которую входят также Меркурий, Венера и Марс. Единственное известное человеку в настоящее время тело во Вселенной, населённое живыми организмами.


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