Sun and the holy ghost (complete with a halo of light): Jesus is seen standing on a cloud

An eerie figure appears to stand on a cloud high in the mountains, arms outstretched, bearing an uncanny resemblance to Jesus. To complete the picture, the figure is crowned with a perfect halo of light.

Amateur photographer Luc Perrot was stunned when he saw the apparition 2,000ft up on top of the volcanic Cirque of Mafate peak, on the island of Réunion in the Indian Ocean.

The Frenchman had climbed the mountain to record a time-lapse video of the movement of the clouds on July 10 this year.

Spooky: The Jesus-like figure can be
                              seen on top of the cloud, with a crescent
                              of light shrouding him

Apparition: The figure, bearing an uncanny resemblance to Jesus with arms outstretched, floats on a cloud, with a crescent of light acting as a halo

Divine
                            apparition? A close-up of the image shows
                            how Jesus-like the figure looks

Cloud forrmation: Photographer Luc Perrot says the figure is probably the result of a weather phenomenon known as the Brocken bow

WHAT IS THE BROCKEN SPECTRE?

Also called Brocken bow or mountain spectre, it is the apparently enormous and magnified shadow of an observer, cast upon the upper surfaces of clouds opposite the sun.

The phenomenon can appear on any misty mountainside or cloud bank, but the frequent fogs and low-altitude accessibility of the Brocken, a peak in the Harz Mountains in Germany, have created a local legend from which the phenomenon draws its name.

The Brocken spectre was observed and described by Johann Silberschlag in 1780, and has since been often recorded in literature about the region.

But when he looked up from his camera, he was startled to see the figure apparently standing in the midst of the clouds.

He said: 'I was making a time-lapse video with the movement of clouds above the Cirque of Mafate when I began scanning the horizon for a good shot.

'As I looked up I noticed a shadow floating on clouds surrounded by a rainbow.

'It took me by complete surprise. When I looked back at the footage, it gave me the feeling of divine apparition.

'When I saw the footage I realised the figure was surmounted by a white arc, which reminded me very much of a halo.

'You read about this phenomenon in books but I have never seen it before myself.'

Rather than attribute the phenomenon to a spiritual experience, Mr Perrot - a physiotherapist -is clear that the bizarre sighting was caused by the weather.

He added: 'It can probably be explained scientifically. There are lots of different climatic phenomena like the Brocken spectre and fogbows, but it does look amazing and is unique.'

The Cirque of Mafate is a remote and inaccessible volcanic crater - and is a favourite with hikers due to its unspoiled nature.

Kurt S