Walking along the dune of Pilat on a foggy day, a twenty-year-old photographer photographed an unusual phenomenon known as the Brocken Ghost. It occurs when sunlight comes from behind the observer to the cloud surface or a foggy veil in front of the observer.
Florian Clément walked along the dune of Pilat, the largest sand dune in Europe, situated in the south-west of France. Suddenly he saw a huge “ghost” with a colored halo around his head, repeating all his movements. Taking the camera, Clément immediately began filming. It turned out that the spectrum is nothing more than the projection of the photographer’s shadow on the fog above the waters of the Arcachon basin.
I knew that a similar phenomenon had been observed here a few years ago.
However, he was surprised to see how big this shadow could be. On land and especially by the sea, the Brocken spectrum is very rare, but pilots often observe this natural phenomenon.
The phenomenon was named after the Broken Mountain in Germany, mentioned by Goethe in the famous Faust. Because of the frequent and thick fogs on this mountain, the “spectrum” is not so rare. It was first described by Johann Silberchlag in 1780.