— -- An iridescent, multi-hued cloud phenomenon was recently spotted in Costa Rica skies, and residents were left awestruck and mystified.
The spectacle in the sky was reported this past Tuesday afternoon in numerous cities including, San Jose, Parrita, Pavas, Escazu and Hatillo. Coincidentally, the sighting occurred on the country's Independence Day.
Many witnesses took to social media to post photos and video of the luminous cloud formation, with some even noting that it looked like an "end of times" scene.
Resident Joey Petit told ABC News today that he and his family were at the playground in Escazu for an Independence Day festival when his 11-year-old son, Ariel Joseph Petit first noticed the strange cloud.
"He immediately grabbed the camera and started taking video and photos," he said. "We were just so amazed. We had no idea what it was and we'd never seen anything like it."
Another Escazu resident, Jessie Montealegre, said she was also was amazed by the sky phenomenon.
"It was breathtaking," she said. "It’s like a sign of God."
Though users on social media have various theories on what caused the light formation, including aliens or UFOs, experts said the stunning view was caused by a rare weather phenomenon called "cloud iridescence."
The colorful luminescence is caused by the sun's light being refracted by water droplets and ice crystals in the cloud, said, Eladio Solano, a meteorologist with Costa Rica's National Meteorological Institute, according to Costa Rica media outlet Teletica News.
The phenomenon produced a similar sky spectacle in South Carolina last month that was dubbed a "fire rainbow."