Brocken Spectre Experience Near Mumbai

By Reshma Dewda on Oct 09, 2015
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It was a misty day. We started early, all pumped up to climb this beastly mountain that stood there mocking us. We had narrow escapes on slippery, moss filled rocks and despite the minor bruises and dehydration , we could see ourselves getting there slowly but surely.

Harishchandragad is located in the Ahmednagar district and has a height of 4671feet. It’s no child’s play but it will make you fall in love with trekking and mountains. We witnessed diverse flora and fauna and galloping waterfalls on the way up and were surprised to know that the remnants of microlithic man were found here.

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We chanced upon the Kedareshwar cave where we learnt about the local legend that out of the four surrounding pillars of the shivlinga, the only one that stands is the one that decides the fate of the world. Legend says that when the only remaining pillar falls, the world is doomed to come to an end.

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Image Source: Wikimedia Commons

As we approached the breathtaking Konkan cliff, we started to realize that the clouds actually bent down to welcome us. At the overhang of the cliff, we looked down to see that we were surrounded by misty clouds and the sun shone right behind us. As we struggled to take mental pictures of this unparalleled beauty, we noticed a ghostly phenomenon that was surrounded by a halo of rainbow light. This ghost seemed to be bending down and floating in the clouds.

We almost gasped in horror as we were caught unaware by this bizzare visual. For once we thought that it was our tired body turning delusional and showing us these things. But it wasn’t possible for all of us six people to be seeing the exact same thing!

Turns out that this ghostly sight is actually the Brocken Spectre or mountain glory. It is basically your own shadow that you notice against the mist. It happens if you’re against the sun and there are low lying clouds. Johann Silberschlag first described this phenomenon in 1780. This optical illusion is also noticed from airplanes as the airplane’s shadow moves in the clouds.

So if you’re mountain climbing and are high enough to see mist below you, a low lying sun will cause you to see what looks like the spookiest ghost you have ever imagined. So before you start with rituals to ward off paranormal entities, give science a chance to explain this weird sight.

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