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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

It's called a Brocken Spectre, and it looks eerie as hell

Tom Wood

Tom Wood

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.


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.

"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.

"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."


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.

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


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