Unusual quadruple rainbows appear on the isle of Terschelling, Netherlands

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It’s a treat to see a rainbow painting the sky, and seeing a double rainbow always gets our attention, but how many of us have seen four bows at the same time?

The anomalous rainbow “quad” shown below was photographed from the island of Terschelling in the Netherlands on April 28, 2017.

quadruple rainbow netherlands, Multiple rainbows appeared this morning, April 28 on the Isle of Terschelling, Multiple rainbows netherlands, Multiple rainbows netherlands april 28 2017 pictures
Multiple rainbows appeared this morning, April 28 on the Isle of Terschelling, Netherlands. via Twitter

The bright primary bow (left most) and fainter secondary bow (right most) are a result of refraction and reflection of sunlight in raindrops – a second reflection within the drops creates the secondary bow.

quadruple rainbow netherlands, Multiple rainbows appeared this morning, April 28 on the Isle of Terschelling, Multiple rainbows netherlands, Multiple rainbows netherlands april 28 2017 pictures
Hae ou ever observed multiple bows? via Twitter

However, the fainter bows – behind the first ones – isn’t due to a third raindrop reflection but rather to reflection off the primary and secondary rainbows, respectively. The reflected rainbow crosses the main level with the horizon, then it passes over it.

quadruple rainbow netherlands, Multiple rainbows appeared this morning, April 28 on the Isle of Terschelling, Multiple rainbows netherlands, Multiple rainbows netherlands april 28 2017 pictures
4 rainbows suddenly formed over the isle of Terschelling, Netherlands. Can you imagine that? viaTwitter

Sunlight reflecting off the smooth water of the ocean interacts with the falling raindrops to form the reflection rainbows. The color scheme is the inverse as that for the primary bow – blue on the outside and red on the inside.

quadruple rainbow netherlands, Multiple rainbows appeared this morning, April 28 on the Isle of Terschelling, Multiple rainbows netherlands, Multiple rainbows netherlands april 28 2017 pictures
4 rainbows or quadruple rainbows captured on an Island in the Netherlands on April 28. via Twitter

Last year other such anomalous rainbows formed in the sky of Norway and New Zealand.

Have you ever seen multiple rainbows? Tell us our experience in the comments below.

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