YouTuber "Hungrybear9562" was camping at Yosemite Bear Mountain when he said a Giant Double Rainbow had been "rainbowing for at least an hour" and he was overwhelmed and nearly euphoric about it. Zen Dope took up this euphoria and dedicates this little video to Paul "Bear" Vasquez and is telling of the lore and history of the mysterious "rainbow". "What does this mean?" he asks and we don't blame him!
Many people insulted and ridiculed Paul for his reaction to the Double Rainbow and left nasty comments and made silly spoof videos about him on YouTube. Interestingly, there is much lore and legend about the mysterious nature of rainbows and an esoteric factor to these natural beauties.
In a rainbow, raindrops in the air act as tiny prisms. Light enters the raindrop, reflects off of the side of the drop and exits. In the process, it is broken into a spectrum just like it is in a triangular glass prism.
The angle between the ray of light coming in and the ray coming out of the drops is 42 degrees for red and 40 degrees for violet. You can see in this diagram that the angles cause different colors from different drops to reach your eye, forming a circular rim of color in the sky. In a double rainbow, the second bow is produced because droplets can have two reflections internally and get the same effect. The droplets have to be the right size, however, to get two reflections to work. The mathematical and the physical process is complicated. So, that's the science of it.
What is most interesting is that a rainbow is almost an entirely mathematical event. It’s based completely on the position of the sun relative to the observer, and as such, has no true physical location. This beauty that has no physical location occurs for only minutes, thousands of times a day all over the world. So the planet from the panoramic earth view is continually, without pause, flashing and arcing brief rainbows of color all over the surface thousands of time per day. That is, if there is anyone to see them. An "observer" is needed.
So, here we are again. The old Buddhist Zen Koans. If a tree falls in the forest and no one is there to witness it, does the tree actually fall? (That answer is yes, by the way) BUT, if a rainbow arcs in the perfect mathematical prism of bending light and no one is there to see it, does that rainbow exist? The answer is "no". "That" is real Zen.