In France, observed the “Brocken ghost”

While walking along the Pyla dune in a foggy day, a twenty-year-old photographer photographed an unusual phenomenon, known as the “Brocken ghost.” It occurs when light from the sun falls from behind the observer to the surface of clouds or a foggy veil.

Dune Pila – the largest sand dune in Europe, located in the commune of La Teste de Buch near Arcachon Bay (France). The dune has a capacity of 60,000,000 m³, a width of 500 m and a height of 130 m.

Florian Clement strolled along the Pyla dune, the largest sand dune in Europe, which is located in the south-west of France. Suddenly he saw a huge “ghost” with a color halo around his head, which repeated all his movements. Grabbing the camera, Clement immediately began to shoot.

It turned out that the ghost is nothing more than the projection of the photographer’s shadow on the fog that lies over the waters of the Arcachonsky Gulf. Clement noted:

I knew that a similar phenomenon was observed here a couple of years ago. But he was surprised at how big a shadow could be. On land and especially on the seashore the Brocken ghost is very rare, but pilots observe this natural phenomenon quite often.

The phenomenon was named from the mountain Broken in Germany, mentioned by Goethe in the famous “Faust”. Because of the frequent and thick fogs on this mountain, the “ghost” is not that rare. It was first described by Johann Silberchlag in 1780.