NORTH POLE – An ominous white rainbow has been hovering over Arctic sky for weeks.
The rare phenomena, named a fog bow, was spotted by several explorers, including Sam Dobson, during a recent expedition to the North Pole.
As their ice breaking ship cruised through the chilly waters, Dobson clocked the arching rainbow but was stunned to see it was completely white.
He quickly grabbed his camera, and despite freezing temperatures, captured the unique sight.
The 51-year-old, from Russia, said: ‘It was around midnight, but because of the time of year it was still fairly light… At first it just looked like a cloud, but as we got closer it was a solid rainbow, but white.”
About two dozen other explorers – from Russia, Sweden and Canada – also have seen the white rainbow. The rainbow has not gone away for over two weeks.
‘We were so impressed with it we all got off onto a floating slab of ice to take a closer look.It is actually closer than it looks in the pictures,” said one of the explorers. I was stunned and amazed by the natural miracle. Despite the fact I am totally obsessed with photography, I sometimes forgot to press the shutter button.”
‘I was just staring at the natural wonder in front of me. We spent several days there and it never went away. It was beautiful at first, but then it became ominous, almost like it was watching us,” said one of the Canadian explorers.
Dobson had been travelling on the nuclear icebreaker ’50 years of Victory’, the biggest of its kind in the world, setting off from the Russian town of Murmansk. The amateur photographer added: ‘I feel privileged to have been on the trip and witnessed something not many people can say they have seen in person.’
A fog bow is a similar phenomenon to a rainbow, but it appears as an arch in fog rather than rain. And because of the very small size of water droplets that cause fog, it appears as a white arc, rather than a multi-coloured one.
Experts say there have been a number of white rainbows seen over the centuries, but there has never been one that has stayed in one place for days on end. What could it mean?