A mysterious 'fogbow' appeared in a clearing on a misty Wirral beach over the weekend.

Also known as a 'white rainbow' the natural phenomenon can appear ghostly or sometimes faintly coloured.

Michael Thomas, 50, was out on a walk along the Hoylake sands when he came across the rare sight and said he had never seen anything like it before in his life.

He said: "I walk along the beach twice a day with my dog Branko and on Saturday (April 17) it was quite foggy.

"I normally walk out from the old lifeboat station and looking out I couldn't see Hilbre Island.

"As I walked onto the beach I couldn't even see the houses from the sand, or the tide.

"Then, just in a clearing there was this fogbow, that is the only way I can explain it - it was a bit strange I have never seen anything like it before, I have seen an inverted rainbow, but never a fogbow."

The MyWirral newsletter will bring you news from across the borough in a way you’ve never had before.

Whether it's celebrating people, sharing issues or discussing latest news, our newsletter covers all things Wirral.

Signing up is free and it only takes a minute for you to get the biggest stories, sent straight to your inbox.

How to sign up for a MyWirral Email Update

1) Go to our dedicated newsletter page at this link.

2) Put your email in the box where indicated

3) Tick MyWirral News .

4) Press Save changes and that's it!

5) There are plenty of other newsletters to choose from too.

A fogbow, like a traditional rainbow, is the interaction of sunlight and water droplets - but within mist, fog or clouds.

The Met Office said: "These water droplets are much smaller than raindrops, nearly always less than 0.1 mm in diameter.

"These tiny droplets cause the light to undergo different physical processes, most notably diffraction, which leads to fogbows appearing to be devoid of colour. It is for this reason that fogbows are sometimes known as white rainbows.

Got a Wirral story? Email [email protected]

"The elements that make up a fogbow are the same as for a rainbow - sunlight at the observers back, and water droplets in front.

"The water droplets that make up fog are so tiny compared to raindrops, between 10 and 1000 times smaller, that while the light still reflects from the water droplet back towards the observer, the process of diffraction of the light by the droplet becomes a dominant effect.

"The process of diffraction broadens the reflected beam of light which smears out the colours which give the characteristic ghostly white, or very faintly coloured fogbow. This also makes the fogbow much broader than a rainbow.

"The fog bank has to be relatively diffused and thin to allow the light to pass through the droplets and create the effect. Fogbows are large, almost as big as rainbows.

"A similar effect can also be seen from aircraft in cloud droplets, when they're known as cloud bows."