Inverness Triple Rainbow

A triple rainbow in Inverness, Scotland.


Photo taken with a Canon Elph film camera and scanned.

  • Tree Hugger Forever 8y

    I didn't know it was possible! Nice capture.
  • mona henderson 8y

    very beautiful the colors......
  • Chris 8y

    congratulations, triple rainbows seem to be incredibly rare (sadly)
  • sonbitchgoku 7y

    From what I know about rainbows, I think I can piece together how this happened. A double rainbow is a reflection of the original rainbow, kind of like a mirror image. The colors in the second rainbow are always reversed, that is, red is on the inside of the rainbow instead of the outside. What seems to have happened in your picture is that the rainbow in between the other two is actually a reflection of the supernumerary rainbow. The SN rainbow's colors are reversed already, so the reflection of it shows the colors in the normal order. The double rainbow on the right side is reversed and the triple rainbow appears in the middle which is not reversed.

    Normally, a triple rainbow never appears like this. The triple rainbow would appear on the other side of the sky where the sun is and be dimmer than the double rainbow, but this is actually two double rainbows from the same rainbow. The true "double" rainbow is a reflection of the main rainbow and the "triple" is a reflection of the SN rainbow which also appears as a reflection of the double rainbow. What is so interesting is how it branches away from the double rainbow and clearly shows the positioning of the colors as a reflection. This is kind of like how the word "mom" appears the same way in a mirror that it would normally because it reads the same thing both ways. You could call this a palindromic rainbow. lol The sun is reflecting in a way that the two separate more than the original, but in my opinion, that is exactly what is happening in this photo.

    Truly a rare find. Chances are you'll never see anything like this again.
  • silyld 7y

    Hi, I'm an admin for a group called Supernumerary Rainbows, and we'd love to have this added to the group!

    stunning capture :-)
  • thecitychicken1 7y

    I don't think it's a triple's even more rare. It's a bow with supernumeraries, and a twinned bow.
  • Lisa Stephens 7y

    I always declare that all rainbows are double. People who can't see the second one simply amaze me.
    I will temporarily suspend my "all rainbows" theory and expand it to include this lovely capture.
  • Really could use some Peanuts 7y

    I've been trying to work out how this came about - this isn't a standard rainbow multiple because the central one is at a completely different angle. So here's my theory: the sun is reflecting off water (lake/sea etc), and the middle bow is caused by the light from this reflection, but the water surface would need to be near mirror calm. The lower angle of light from the reflected sun would create a weak 2nd bow with a steeper angle and colors normal, as seen here. Can the photgrapher confirm the position of the sun in relation to water?
  • Victor López S. 7y

    love it!
  • Gerard Callaghan 7y

    Wow! I've never seen one of those before.
  • Miwok 6y

    Wow!! Funny, just shot some raimbow pictures in Inverness too, but not the same Inverness. :)
  • almassengale 6y

  • carlosbezz 5y

    Hi, I'm an admin for a group called artland, and we'd love to have this added to the group!
  • md1088 5y

    Hey! Fantastic shot HOWEVER! This is NOT a triple rainbow. Take it from a meteorology undergrad. What you captured is a double rainbow with a reflection bow (more information on how they're formed here: -- A true triple rainbow based on atomospheric refractivity through rain droplets would appear as a standard double rainbow, but the third band would actually look like a corona/halo around the sun. These coronas and halos are common to see around the sun themselves, but if you see one during a double rainbow, chances are you have just seen one, and if you have a video camera, you will be the first. Science has proven that at least up to 6x rainbows are physically possible however, only 3x have been seen and have never been photographed, or at least to have known to have been. Either way, a reflection bow is awesome stuff to have captured!!
  • md1088 5y

    PS more on rainbow orders in case you're interested as well:
  • chrisdv98 5y

    It's starting to look like a triple rainbow!
  • TimesTheyAreAChanging 5y

    oh my god its full on!!!
  • »WOLFE« 4y

    TimesTheyAreAChanging Yo just made my f*cking day HAHAHA
  • David Bapty RIP 4y

    Must be a rare capture,superb shot
  • Number_19A 3y

    sonbitchgoku Reflection rainbows like this can be seen several times during the rainy season in the South Bay area of San Francisco. I've seen more than one. All it takes a calm evening, rain to the east, the sun low in the sky to the west, and a large body of calm water also to the west. Sunlight reflecting off the water creates the single or double reflection rainbow.
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Taken on April 2, 2001
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