Residents of the normally-sunny island of Sardinia could have been forgiven for running for the hills when this terrifying mushroom cloud appeared in the skies during an intense thunderstorm, Daily Mail reported.
But while it may look like the aftermath of a nuclear explosion the awesome cloud was a purely natural phenomenon - a giant storm cell lit up from the inside by a series of lightning bolts, the report said.
The stunning set of photographs was taken by 27-year-old photographer Stefano Garau who captured the incredible moment from the balcony of his house after noticing the storm moving in fast.
Mr Garau said: “The photo is taken from my home, I was lucky to notice in time that the storm cell was throwing in that direction. I had time to do about 70 shots, the photo is taken with my faithful Nikon D700 with a Nikon 105mm VR lens.”