This Is the World's Most Spectacular Cloud

Meet the Morning Glory.

Australia is known around the world for its surf breaks, but few people realize those waves aren't only in the water. The Morning Glory is the world's most spectacular and predictable 'roll cloud', a 621-mile long cloud formation that often moves at speeds of 37 miles per hour, sometimes as a single cloud, and sometimes in sets of up to eight clouds.

For the first time ever, hang-glider pilot Jonny Durand has released the Cineflex footage of his epic flight.

What makes hang-gliding the Morning Glory so incredible is the lifting air rising up over the advancing cloud, offering pilots the chance to soar without constantly seeking thermal lift. Like water pushes a surfer up the face of the wave, the pilots use wind energy to swoop and spin in front this incredible natural phenomenon.

Jon Durand prepares to take off at the Archerfield Airport in Brisbane, Australia on November 6th, 2012
Jonny Durand, hang-glider pilot © Trent Mitchell/Red Bull Content Pool

Fittingly, Durand's words give only the slightest indication of what that feeling is like. “You're pretty much speechless when you're up there,” he says. “The first time you experience the Morning Glory from the air, you don't know what to think.”

While Morning Glory roll-clouds have been spotted in other places around the world, Australia's Gulf of Carpentaria remains the most consistent spot to see these waves in the sky – and one of the only places in the world you can go surfing without getting wet.

More Adventure: Diving Into the Amazon River

Jon Durand
read more about
Next Story