It took 6(!) years of observing whales to finally get a photo of a “rainblow.”

These only occur when light hits the water droplets created by a whale’s exhalation (warm air from the lungs meeting cool air outside) and is reflected inside the drops before being refracted outside, creating the colors of the visible light spectrum. Just like with normal rainbows, the sun has to be behind you in order for you to see it.

It may sound simple enough, but given whales do not stay still and sunny days are relatively rare here in Alaska…it’s hard for all the conditions of a rainblow to be met!