Regarded by many as one of the seven natural wonders of the world, tourists travel from around the globe to take in the breathtaking view from edge of the Grand Canyon.
Usually they can see for miles, gazing out across the 18miles-wide valley carved out by the Colorado River 17 million years ago, but not today.
A rare weather phenomenon has caused a thick sea of fog to rise from the foot of the canyon, sitting just yards from the top of the surface, creating an eerily beautiful effect.
Hikers and photographers gathered to take in the view, which was, if anything, even more spectacular than usual.
In scenes only usually seen when flying or from the top of world’s tallest mountains, the Grand Canyon appears to be sitting on top of the clouds.
The rare weather system, which only happens about once every several years, has been caused by recent rains in northern Arizona.
Warm air at the top of the canyon stops the colder air at the bottom of the valley from rising, stopping the two masses of air from mixing.
As the chillier air cools, dew caused by earlier the rain, which has now turned into fog, rises to the rim of the canyon, where the warmer air stops it from escaping.
This is known as a ‘total temperature inversion’ and only takes place at the canyon once every several years.
Despite the event only taking place around once a decade, tourists were treated to a similarly mesmerising sight at the Grand Canyon last year.
The thick clouds are expected to linger in the canyon today, eventually clearing over the weekend as warmer weather returns, according to the National Weather Service.
When the fog gathered this time last year, Grand Canyon park ranger Erin Whittaker told MailOnline that some of the tourists visiting the canyon were disappointed they couldn’t see the Colorado River below, and just figured it was a normal weather pattern.
But she and the other rangers tried to explain just how lucky they were to see the cloud-covered canyon, as locals turned out photograph the stunning view.
‘Word spread like wildfire and most ran to the rim to photograph it. What a fantastic treat for all!’ Ranger Whittaker said.
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