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Hiker Captures Rare Phenomenon That Looks Like An Angel In The Clouds

Hiker Captures Rare Phenomenon That Looks Like An Angel In The Clouds

A hill walker out in the Peak District managed to capture a rare phenomenon which looked like an 'angel in the sky' surrounded by a rainbow glow.

It's pretty impressive, and was spotted last Friday (7 February) by 33-year-old Lee Howdle.

The effect is called a 'Brocken Spectre' and only occurs when a person manages to get to a height at which the sun is behind them and the clouds below them.

That's why it's so rare.

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Credit: SWNS
Credit: SWNS

Lee, an ardent hiker and photographer, walked up the 517-metre-tall Mam Tor, where he was able to grab the incredible images.

The Langley Mill resident said: "It was truly a special moment.

"I went to the Peak District because I knew there was going to be a cold inversion where clouds form at low level beneath clear skies.

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"When I got to Winnats Pass, it wasn't that great because of where the clouds were.

"Mam Tor is much higher, and above the clouds. As I was going up Mam Tor, by chance, I looked to the left side of me and there was a Brocken Spectre.

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"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."

Credit: SWNS
Credit: SWNS
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He continued: "As I was walking, I saw a sheep and the effect was around the sheep as well.

"My main hobby is photography. It's a hobby I really enjoy. I go to the Peak District every fortnight, or at least once a month.

"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."

The effect, which is also known as a Brocken bow or mountain spectre, is essentially a large shadow cast onto a cloud below, but has - obviously - been linked with folklore and mythology ever since it was discovered.

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It was first observed on Brocken - the highest mountain in Germany's Harz Mountains - back in the 18th century, hence the name.

Credit: SWNS
Credit: SWNS

As for the rainbow glow that surrounds the spectral shadow, that's caused by light refracting and reflecting back towards the observer in a specific way.

It's known as a 'glory' and appears around the point that is opposite to the sun as the viewer views their own shadow in the cloud.

Featured Image Credit: SWNS

Topics: uk news, Interesting, Weird

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Tom Wood

Tom Wood is a LADbible journalist and Twin Peaks enthusiast. Despite having a career in football cut short by a chronic lack of talent, he managed to obtain degrees from both the University of London and Salford. According to his French teacher, at the weekends he mostly likes to play football and go to the park with his brother. Contact Tom on [email protected]