EVER SEEN THIS SORT OF OPTICAL EFFECT? 

(Photo credit: Emili Vilamala Benito) On the cliff of Tavertet in Barcelona, Spain, with the sun low behind and the valley of Sau covered with fog, Emili waited until a Brocken Spectre appeared. “In this geographical area, you can see these phenomena due to morning fog, and when it fades, it is possible to see this spectacular optical phenomenon”.

It’s referred to as a “Brocken Specter” and photographer Emili Vilamala Benito recently captured the phenomenon.

FIRST–A BIG THANK YOU TO MADDIE BYRNE WHO CALLED THIS PHOTO AND THE ACCOMPANYING ARTICLE TO MY ATTENTION. 

It’s eye-catching and quite interesting!

The shadow you see in the photo surrounded by a colorful halo is a visual phenomenon that was actually cast by Benito as the photograph was being taken and is referred to as a “BROCKEN SPECTER”.

You may have witnessed something like it before–though chances are you saw a similar optical effect while in flight and looking out the window of an aircraft. If so, what you’ve seen while in the air is an optical phenomenon known as a “GLORY”.

Benito’s photo features an optical phenomenon which is a form of “GLORY”—though it’s classified as a BROCKEN SPECTER.

The publication IFLScience “Earth Story” published the photo with the following explanation of what we’re seeing:

“This particular image shows a Brocken Specter stretching across the fog covered valley of Sau in Barcelona. Its maker was standing on the cliff of Tavertet when the Sun dipped to create this spectacular optical phenomenon.

Brocken Specters is the name given to a pretty nifty optical illusion that was first observed on the Brocken peak in Germany, earning it the local name Brockengespenst. The illusion occurs when a person or object creates a shadow that then gets a leg up by casting onto a cloud or fog, like in Benito’s photo. This combination results in an enormous shadow that looks really far away, and occasionally moves even if the person or object casting it remains still.”

Benito is now up for the UK’s “Royal Meteorological Society’s “Weather Photographer of the Year 2022” award. 

Voting is now underway on their website until Wednesday September 21 and the winner will be announced on October 6.

IF YOU’RE INTERESTED IN SEEING OTHER PHOTOS SELECTED BY THE ROYAL METEOROLOGICAL SOCIETY FOR RECOGNITION, check out this article which reports on them posted in this “IFLScience” article.