Since very young, we often look up at the sky, attempting to spot familiar shapes in the clouds above. Nowadays, photographers have an opportunity to capture such rare moments and turn them into fascinating proof of the power of Mother Nature.
While hiking in the Peak District National Park in Derbyshire, England, Lee Howdle, an avid photographer, noticed a peculiar misty shadow, and immediately pulled out his camera.
“My shadow looked huge. It was in this circular rainbow. I took some photos of it and carried on walking. It was like an angel in the sky over the hills, it was quite magical.
I have never seen this before in my life. I read about it once on the internet. It’s really amazing and I feel very blessed to have captured such a magical moment.”
This phenomenon is known as the “mountain specter” or a “Brocken specter” and the UK Met Office has listed it in their top 10 list of spookiest weather conditions.
The agency explains:
“This effect is produced when an observer stands above the upper surface of a cloud – on a mountain or high ground – with the sun behind them. When they view their shadow the light is reflected back in such a way that a spooky circular ‘glory’ appears around the point directly opposite the sun.”
It is named after the Brocken mountain in northern Germany, where it was first ever recorded. Experts explain that mountainous areas are the ideal place to see Brocken specters as you need to be elevated.
Howdle was standing on Mam Tor, a 1,696-foot hill in the High Peak area of the National Park when he witnessed the amazing scene. People from other parts of the world have seen it as well.
Isn’t it fairytale-like?