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22/09/2015 12:58 BST | Updated 22/09/2015 13:59 BST

Brocken Spectre: Hikers Capture Rare Rainbow 'Halo' Optical Illusion

Hikers in Washington’s Mount Rainier national park have captured an eerie and rare weather phenomenon on camera.

Radka Chapin and her husband were at the summit ridge of Tamanos Mountain when they witnessed what is known as the Brocken Spectre.

The effect – described by the Met Office as “spooky” - is produced when an observer stands above the upper surface of a cloud – on a mountain or high ground – with the sun behind them.

When they view their shadow, the light is reflected back in such a way that a circular ‘halo’ appears around the point directly opposite the sun.

Chapin told ABC News she had been hopeful of capturing the sight, given the sunny yet foggy weather.

brocken spectre

A brocken spectre can be replicated on a flat surface if the sun is low on the horizon

“We were secretly hoping we would get lucky on Saturday as the conditions looked perfect,” she said.

She added: “As the day went on, the Spectre would last longer and was more prominent and colourful.

"The best display was in the evening, when the Spectre appeared very clear, large and a short distance from us, right before thick clouds rolled in and obstructed the sun.”

Weird weather phenomena