A landscape photographer based out of the UK recently traveled to a moor in Western Scotland to take pictures of a stoic and solitary tree standing in the middle of an icy wasteland.
While there he encountered something even more spectacular than the tree. A mysterious white rainbow that looked like something right out of a frozen fairy tale appeared and he was able to get the shot.
“I had never seen anything like it in my 10 years capturing landscape photos around the globe or even in my 44 years of life,” Melvin Nicholson told ABC News.
Nicholson said he remembered it being “incredibly misty” as he and a friend hiked up toward the tree, and just as they arrived “the sun started to rise behind us, burning off the mist, and at that point, the fogbow appeared.”
Within 5 minutes the colorless rainbow disappeared.“I knew I had captured something fairly special when I realized how transient it was,” he said.
According to NASA, the white rainbow is called a “fogbow” – a reflection of sunlight by water drops similar to a rainbow but without the colors. The lack of colors is caused because water droplets of fog are much smaller than those of rain.
They are so tiny that “the quantum mechanical wavelength of light smears out colors” that would be created by larger water droplets, which act like small prisms, NASA says.