A tent floating upside down over Florida elicited an amusing barrage of online user responses.
Some mistook the tent, which was spotted floating above Iona in Lee County, Florida, for a UFO, while others viewed it as a symbol of Florida’s distinctive culture.
Southwest Florida’s WINK News Chief Meteorologist Matt Devitt initially brought the tent to the notice of the online populace.
He penned, “Well, this is a first. On Tuesday, a large tent was discovered randomly floating high above Iona in Southwest Florida.
‘Most likely propelled skyward by a surface whirlwind.’
A homeowner of southwestern Florida observed the tent floating hundreds of feet in the air. Later, a meteorologist determined that a surface whirlwind likely lifted the tent into the air.
A WINK News viewer submitted photographs of the flying tent, which elicited a flood of hilarious replies from online users.
Twitter user Denise Gutzmer wrote, ‘A UFO! It is actually a huge tent.
‘In the meantime, Florida remains Florida,’ commented another commenter.
When air close to the ground heats and rises, and cooler air fills the void, a surface whirlwind forms. According to Devitt, the resultant circulation results in a “upward lift into the sky.”
In addition to stating that they are accustomed to seeing extremes of the natural world, Floridians’ online replies were mostly hilarious.
Iona is a small unincorporated village located a few miles east of Fort Myers Beach, which was recently devastated by the catastrophic Hurricane Ian.
Many readers were quick to make comparisons to the Wizard of Oz, which featured a flying house that was whisked away by a tornado and deposited Dorothy in Oz.
One person wrote, “Toto, I don’t think we’re in Kansas anymore.”
Nick, a storm chaser, created a meme from the circumstance. Comparing the flying tent to the famed flying saucer family automobile from The Jetsons.
Others referred to the tent turning into a literal AirBnB.
Some advised others to avoid the same camping misfortune.
This is the reason why tents come with stakes, wrote Stephanie Curd.
Several readers stated the image reminded them of the now-famous Balloon Boy incident, in which parents falsely claimed their six-year-old son, Falcon, was imprisoned inside a helium balloon.
This phenomenon explains why inflatable bounce houses are occasionally hoisted into the air.
It wasn’t long before memes of the flying Florida tent were produced and posted, contributing to the conversation.
“Thank goodness no one was inside!” he continued, in contrast to a recent incident in California in which three children were hurt when a bounce house became entangled in a sudden blast of wind.
In this instance, the wind was produced by a law enforcement aircraft during an open house at the Rancho Cucamonga Police Department’s headquarters in southern California.
Although only one of the three children was actually inside the bounce house when it unexpectedly took flight, they all required hospital care as a result. This child required no medical transport.
This image depicts the bouncy house following its unexpected flight.
One mother stated that she was not informed that a San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department helicopter would be present at the event.