Steambow observed on volcanic island beach in Antarctica: photo

There is an island called Deception near the coast of Antarctica. Although it looks like a safe harbor (and it usually is), the island is actually an active volcano. It last erupted in the 1960s, causing serious damage to local research stations. The island’s implicit threat can still be seen thanks to the special rainbows on the beach.
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© George Kourounis
George Kourounis took this image on November 25. According to him, he was on the beach when he saw it. Hot water flows under the beach surrounding the huge caldera. The sand was literally steaming from the volcanic heat below. When the sun came out, he saw a steambow. In the background you can see the rigid inflatable boats used to get ashore. It was the maiden voyage of the RCGS Resolute ship and the last day visiting land before heading back across the Drake Passage to South America. «What a great way to wrap up a trip to Antarctica,» Kourounis said.
Steambows are distant relatives of rainbows. They appear when sunlight penetrates clouds of tiny water droplets. Water backscatters and diffracts the light, forming a pale arc with a rainbow-colored fringe.

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