She Was Hiking In The Mountains When She Suddenly Encountered This God-Like Phenomenon. Her Photos Are Now Taking The Web By Storm.

Radka Chapin was heading back home after a day of hiking in Tamanos Mountain in Washington’s Mount Rainier National Park, when suddenly she saw something she had never seen before. Before her stood a rare optical phenomenon known as a Brocken spectre.

When I saw these pictures – published with the kind permission of Radka Chapin – I was blown away. I immediately understood why Chapin and her friends, after encountering this magical illusion, decided to extend their hike in the mountains.

“Over the next few hours, the ‘spectre’ would show for brief moments before it disappeared with moving clouds,” says Radka.

Photo: Radka Chapin.


After hearing about this phenomenon for the first time, I began to read more. Here’s what Wikipedia had to say: “A Brocken spectre, also called a Brocken bow or mountain spectre, is the apparently enormous and magnified shadow of an observer cast upon the upper surfaces of clouds opposite the sun.” Cool!

The name comes from the Brocken mountain, where the phenomenon was described by a German author in 1780.

Photo: Radka Chapin.


According to Chapin, the spectre grew clearer and more vivid after a few hours. The phenomenon was projected on clouds that lay just beneath the group that were hiking high up in the mountains. “It was a breathtaking show,” says Radka.

Photo: Radka Chapin.


The Brocken spectre phenomenon often occurs at the same time as another optical phenomenon,the halo. This was the case for Radka and her friends, as can be seen in her pictures. Halos can be observed from very high altitudes, such as while hiking tall mountains, or from aircrafts.

Photo: Radka Chapin.


Photo: Radka Chapin.


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