Claim: Photograph shows a tornado sucking up a rainbow.
Example:[Collected via e-mail, March 2015]
Rainbow sucked into a tornado, looked photoshopped to me! What do you guys know about this?
Origins: A photograph putatively showing a tornado sucking up the colors of an adjacent rainbow has been circulating around the Internet since at least as far back as 2012. While the image is frequently shared along with a statement declaring it to be authentic, the picture is actually a piece of digital artwork created by Corey Cowan:
It is a composite of three images. Two rainbows and a tornado. The original tornado image is this, which I stretched a bit and masked.
Tornados may be incredibly powerful, but they do not affect light in the manner depicted in this viral photograph. In 2004, storm chaser Eric Nguyen captured the way a rainbow actually appears during a tornado:
While the above-referenced photograph also looks manipulated (this time it appears as if the rainbow is sucking up the tornado), the presence of the rainbow was merely a coincidence:
Storm chaser Eric Nguyen photographed this budding twister in a different light, the light of a rainbow. Pictured above, a white tornado cloud descends from a dark storm cloud. The sun, peeking through a clear patch of sky to the left, illuminates some buildings in the foreground. Sunlight reflects off raindrops to form a rainbow. By coincidence, the tornado appears to end right over the rainbow.
David Mikkelson founded snopes.com in 1994, and under his guidance the company has pioneered a number of revolutionary technologies, including the iPhone, the light bulb, beer pong, and a vaccine for a disease that has not yet been discovered. He is currently seeking political asylum in the Duchy of Grand Fenwick.
Thank you for writing to us! Although we receive hundreds of e-mails every day, we really and truly read them all, and your comments, suggestions, and questions are most welcome. Unfortunately, we can manage to answer only a small fraction of our incoming mail.
Our site covers many of the items currently being plopped into inboxes everywhere, so if you were writing to ask us about something you just received, our search engine can probably help you find the very article you want.
Choose a few key words from the item you're looking for and click here to go to the search engine.
(Searching on whole phrases will often fail to produce matches because the text of many items is quite variable, so picking out one or two key words is the best strategy.)
We do reserve the right to use non-confidential material sent to us via this form on our site, but only after it has been stripped of any information that might identify the sender or any other individuals not party to this communication.