3 rainbows? What does it all mean?!?!? (Hint: There's water)

Photo: Donna Means, Orcas, Wash.

When one (or two) rainbows just won't do, head to Orcas Island during a rain storm.

At least that was the case Monday evening when Donna Means snapped this photo showing three rainbows!

Three rainbows? Aren't those super, super rare?

A triple rainbow, yes. Three rainbows? Not so much.

A true "triple rainbow" -- where you get a reflection of a reflection of the primary rainbow, has only been photographed a handful of times. This is something a bit different.

The two arcs that parallel each other are a traditional double rainbow. That third arc that's a bit askew and seems to go vertically off the water? That's called a "reflection rainbow " being created by a virtual second sun -- namely sunlight reflecting off the calm waters of Harney Channel. (And I'm not sure, but it almost looks like there is a very faint 4th rainbow to the right of the second one -- perhaps a reflection off the reflection bow?)

These kind of "2+1" rainbows are not too uncommon with all the water around here (although it needs to be fairly calm waters. Choppy water won't get the mirror-like sun reflections as well). You just have to be in the right spot at the right time at the right angle (well, not "right angle" as in 90 degrees, but like "correct" angle) to see them.

No word if any of those ferry riders found random pots of gold waiting hidden up on deck.

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