When hiker Rhys Pleming decided to capture the first sunrise of 2020, he got a lot more than he bargained for.
The 30-year-old and his friend had planned to usher in the New Year atop the summit of Snowdon in Wales with some spectacular images to boot. But nothing had prepared them for the striking illusion they were about to see.
The result of a rare weather phenomenon, the form of a man appeared to them from some distance ahead with a halo-like formation of rainbow colors around him.
While the image certainly looks like a supernatural apparition, it can be explained considering where and when the hikers were standing. From Rhys’ vantage point, when he was looking down from a ridge, the sun’s rays from would have cast a shadow from behind him onto the mist in front of them creating a human silhouette against the rainbow backdrop.
The image dubbed the Brocken Spectre has only been seen once before from the same mountain.