Mayukh Saha
Mayukh Saha
April 9, 2024 ·  3 min read

Residents And Experts Baffled By Strange Black Line In The Sky

A mysterious black vertical line in the British sky of Kent has left both experts and residents puzzled as to its origins. This apparition was pictured last morning in Folkestone by a woman who really “could not believe” what she had come across. This long shadowy line could be seen just above the Eurotunnel on Ashford Road, which went all the way up to “as far as the eye could see.

The sky was quite clear, and the Sun was shining directly at the time the photograph was taken. Yet, according to the weather forecast, the thunderstorms were predicted for later in the day. The woman who took the original picture mentioned, “I saw the line and took a photo to make sure it wasn’t my eyes deceiving me! I honestly have no idea what it could be. It was such a straight line so it obviously wasn’t smoke from a crash or something like that.

Black Vertical Line Seen Over Kent- Sends Viewers In A Tizzy

The resident of Folkestone took this picture of the black vertical line from her car that was parked near the roundabout along the A260 and was quite surprised that no one else had spoken up about it. She said, “The line went up as far as the eye could see. It went way past the clouds. I am hoping that someone else could shed some light on it. I can’t be the only one that saw it.” This apparition also baffled Jeremy Procter, a weather observer. He remarked, “It’s a very interesting photo. The line is definitely not any type of cloud. It is interesting that it appears to be partially obscured by a cloud in the middle and upper parts of the photo, indicating that it was not really an optical fault.

The weird vertical line caught in a picture in Folkestone
Image Credits: Kent Online

For those wondering, Mr. Procter has his own setup for a weather station at his home and has already submitted a monthly weather report to the Sittingbourne Messenger. He commented, “Noticing the tail lighting tower on the right of the picture, in certain light circumstances with the Sun behind you can get a shadow effect. That’s the best possible explanation I can suggest!” One of the spokespersons at Eurotunnel also confirmed that the black vertical line was not coming from their own site.

Not The First Time This Line Was Spotted

Back in 2013, a Daily Mail report also talked of a similar black line in Florida. The chief meteorologist at Bay News 9- the local station, Mike Clay, was also left completely stumped by this weird vertical line that was shooting itself down from a cloud. The weatherman then decided to share the pictures with a few colleagues, with one of them claiming that the dark line could have been a contrail shadow. For that unaware, contrail is the condensation trail that is usually left behind jet aircraft. This forms when hot humid air from jet exhaust mixes in with the environmental air of low temperature and low vapor pressure. 

A similar black vertical line spotted in Florida in 2013.
Image Credits: Mike Weight | Daily Mail

A similar situation was found in Florida by Mike Weight, when he was walking on the beach at around 12.30 pm. The day was sunny and quite bright, but there were definite thunderheads forming from the east. The 73-year-old commented, “I was looking North when I observed what looked like a ray of dark light coming down from a small cloud to the surface of the Gulf about a half-mile away.” The man further commented that the line had lingered in the sky for just about a minute before it faded away. The resident of Clearwater had sent a couple of pictures that showed the mystery phenomenon to the paper- where it was hoped that someone would find out what it was. 

Speaking to the papers, Weight mentioned, “At first I thought it was an optical illusion because it was like a dark piece of sky with a light sky background. You could see through it.” Since there had been an increase in water spout sightings in the area, the individual considered it to be a funnel cloud, but that didn’t seem to be the case. Until Mike Clay solved the mystery.


  1. Black vertical line in Folkestone sky leaves residents and experts puzzled.” Kent Online. Oliver Leonard. May 11, 2023.
  2. Mystery of the dark shadowy line pictured shooting from a cloud over Florida beach that has left weather experts stumped.” Daily Mail. August 4, 2013.