A man says he was “stunned” to look out to sea from a village in Cornwall, in the south-west of England, and to see a giant ship apparently suspended in the air above the water. It is not his eyes that deceive him, but a rare meteorological phenomenon that causes the optical illusion.
BBC News meteorologist David Braine explained that what David Morris captured with his camera lens was not a levitation, but a “superior mirage”, caused by conditions more typical in the frigid Arctic than offshore. from the English coasts.
“Higher mirages occur due to weather conditions known as temperature inversion, where cold air is found near the sea with warmer air above it,” Braine said. “Since cold air is denser than warm air, it bends the light toward the eyes of someone standing on the ground or on the coast, changing the appearance of a distant object.”
Previousworldwide may well have involved the illusion, but the austere images captured by Morris seem to be some of the clearest examples of a superior mirage to date.
Braine said that while in this case the phenomenon made the ship appear to be floating above water, “sometimes an object below the horizon can become visible”, projecting objects that would otherwise be invisible to sight. of someone almost like a giant mirror.