British people have spotted some strange multicoloured clouds in the sky

LONDON — If you happen to have looked up into the sky recently and spotted strange patterns of shifting colors, don't panic — the weird bodies of lights appearing above Britain aren't UFOs, they're nacreous clouds.

See also: Epic video of whales swimming under the Northern Lights

The Met Office took to Twitter on Tuesday morning to share an image taken by Lea Harris of the sky over Edinburgh, UK.

Harris wasn't the only one to spot the unusual clouds.

So what exactly are nacreous clouds, anyway?

According to the Met Office, they're basically clouds that have been lit up with luminous light from below. The clouds are usually found in Northern countries during polar winter when the sun is hanging low in the sky, and their rainbow-like appearance has earned them the nickname "mother of pearl clouds".

Mashable has reached out to the Met Office for more information on the clouds' appearance over Britain, and we will update this article when we receive a response.

UPDATED 16:45 2 FEBRUARY: The Met Office have contacted Mashable with more information about the clouds.

"Currently, we are able to catch sight of them because cold air which usually circulates around polar regions in the stratosphere (the stratospheric polar vortex) has been displaced from its usual position over the north pole to be over the UK," a Met Office spokesperson said.

"Our weather forecast models indicate the cold polar vortex will remain nearby for the next few days, so we should be able to see Nacreous Clouds when the skies are clear.

"The position of the vortex shifts towards the end of the week taking the coldest air, and the Nacreous Clouds, away from above the UK."

Beautiful Nacreous Clouds in Leicestershire, UK
Beautiful Nacreous Clouds in Leicestershire, UK

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