If you were one of the thousands of people who picked a copy of the metro off the train floor this morning, you might have been thrilled to see a picture of a rainbow taken by plane passenger, Melissa Rensen while flying over the Caribbean. Equally, if you'd read any of these articles on the websites of national newspapers.

As much as we'd love to think that she was just an emergency exit away from her very own pot of gold, it simply isn't true. 

As explained by this knowledgeable blogpost (from 2008):

"The colours are generated by the combination of three circumstances:

  1. There is polarized light behind the window
  2. The window is made of a double refracting matter
  3. A polarization filter is used in front of the window"

Condescended version: it's the window, not a rainbow.

Here's what a rainbow actually looks like from a plane

Which is still pretty cool.

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