No, they weren't created by UFOs.

Sky Hole Punch

NASA's Terra satellite has captured a stunning image of "fallstreak holes" or "hole-punch clouds," scientifically known as cavum clouds, hovering over the southwestern Gulf of Mexico.

The massive, sinkhole-like objects vaguely resemble droplets of water, floating thousands of feet above the surface.

Their appearance has been repeatedly and erroneously linked to UFOs and extraterrestrials — which is a considerable overreach, given their far more mundane, Earth-based explanation: airplanes flying through clouds.

Canal Clouds

These particular formations were likely caused by planes taking off and landing at the Miami International Airport, per NASA.

As planes fly through supercooled liquid water droplets in altocumulus clouds between 6,500 and 20,000 feet, the droplets have a chance to freeze.

Once they freeze, they drop out of the sky, forming wispy trails called virga underneath their much larger altocumuls clouds, resulting in circular holes that can easily be spotted from the ground and by satellites.

Depending on the angle of the plane, "canal clouds" can form as well as cavum clouds, which are elongated tunnels bored through much larger altocumulus clouds.

Researchers have shown that a variety of aircraft can cause these formations, including private jets and military turboprops.

In short, it may look like an otherworldly apparition over the Gulf of Mexico — but their explanation is far simpler than that, one of the many ways humanity leaves its mark on the world around us.

More on clouds: Scientists Find Microplastics Inside Clouds

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