Gorgeous Photo Of A Rare "Ghost Rainbow" Snapped In Scotland


Tom Hale

Tom is a writer in London with a Master's degree in Journalism whose editorial work covers anything from health and the environment to technology and archaeology.

Senior Journalist

Melvin Nicholson/Bav Media

While taking a wander around Rannoch Moor in the Scottish highlands on Sunday, photographer Melvin Nicholson captured a mystical sight hanging over the horizon.  

"It's an amazing thing to witness and can generally only be seen if the sun is behind you when you are looking at it," Melvin explained while describing his image. "Freshly fallen snow set the scene all around. It was just beyond magical and one of those days that you'll remember for a long time to come."


Well, they say magic is just science we don't understand yet, but fortunately science has a good understanding of this beautiful occurrence.

The heavenly white halo is something known as a "fogbow". They're a very similar phenomenon to a rainbow, however instead of falling raindrops reflecting the sunlight, it is water droplets hanging in the fog. These droplets are considerably smaller than the raindrops, so the color is much duller and fainter – hence their nickname “ghost rainbows”. Although you might not get the vibrant colors of a rainbow, you can occasionally see a faint reddish tip on them.

If you’re a sucker for photos of beautiful horizons and gorgeous scenery, then check out Nicholson's Flickr and Instagram for more landscape photography from around the globe.


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