Many people around the world have never seen a single rainbow let alone four in close proximity of one another. On Tuesday, April 21, commuter Amanda Curtis caught sight of a quadruple reflected rainbow event while waiting for her morning train at the Long Island, New York Glen Cove station near Madison Street Capital. Curtis shared a picture of the rainbows on Twitter and other social media and it soon became viral across numerous social networks and news outlets.
This type of rare rainbow event occurs when a large reflective body of water exists behind the person observing the rainbows. In this case, Amanda Curtis was standing in front of Oyster Bay between the bay and the spot where she saw the four rainbows.
Rainbows form as the result of an optical illusion that occurs when sunlight is reflected off of water droplets in the air at an angle that refracts the light creating a “prism” effect of red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet (ROYGBIV) colors in a striped pattern. A wide variety of rainbow events can occur. There are double and triple rainbow events, twinned rainbows that seem to start at the same point, full circle rainbows and supernumerary stacked rainbows. Rainbows can also appear to look different in their color and distribution. One or more rainbows during an event can appear as shades of red or completely white. Some rainbows can also appear foggy.