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Nephelococcygia: What does it mean?

Updated on May 4, 2012


Have you ever started up at the sky on a summers day and started to make shapes out of the clouds? Maybe you saw an animal or a face, or perhaps something more extravagant?

Well, you may not be aware but there is an actual scientfic name for this activity, it's called 'Nephelococcygia' (what a mouthfull!).

The phonetic prenounciation for the word is 'ne - fe - lo - kok - e - je - a'.

The reason that I decided to write about this obscure topic was just out of curiosity. After walking home from work one day I found myself staring a the clouds perfoming the act of Nephelococcygia, oblivious to the fact it actually had a name! This led me to search the internet for the most amazing example. Have a look at the video below!

Believe it or not nephelococcygia actually bacame a top search on google on 17-Nov-2010 and reached the google trends page 6 times! I think this was due to the fact that it was National Sky Awareness however cannot be 100% sure.

It's the simple things in life which are often the most beautiful and the most common, however it's also a simple fact that majority of people go through life without noticing this. Can you think of any other examples similar to nephelococcygia of which to share?

Please feel free comment and subscribe if you found this interesting.


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    • pstraubie48 profile image

      Patricia Scott 

      6 years ago from sunny Florida

      Who would have 'thunk' it? All that time I just thought I was enjoying the clouds...little did I know there was name for what I was doing and still do.

      Thanks for sharing this...I have a new wrinkle in my brain.

    • richardmacarthy profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from United Kingdom

      I really like this!

    • Perry the Cat profile image

      Perry the Cat 

      6 years ago from Mouskin, Texas

      As a child I used to watch the clouds. As an adult (air traffic controller) I started watching airplanes. Then I learned to watch the clouds again during tornado season. Cloud watching became serious business. Now I can tell you how thunderstorms form, what happens in a supercell prior to spawning a tornado and what to do when the sirens sound.

      But sometimes, when I get a chance, I look up and see other things in the clouds, and it makes me happy.


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