Who would ever think a ship could fly?
Well, only those who realize what is happening won’t be baffled by this image taken off the coast of England in early March near Falmouth, Cornwall, by area resident David Morris on his morning hike.
A “superior mirage,” according to The Free Dictionary, is “a spurious image of an object formed above the object’s position by abnormal refraction conditions.”
Basically, the “hovering ship” we see is the byproduct of temperature inversion, a weather condition in which cold air rests on the surface beneath warmer air, Braine said, according to the BBC.
Morris, a 52-year-old property developer, told The New York Times: “I told myself, ‘It must be on water.’ My head doesn’t want to understand that, but it must be on water.”
The phenomenon is sure to baffle anyone who doesn’t realize what is happening.
“Since cold air is denser than warm air, it bends light towards the eyes of someone standing on the ground or on the coast, changing how a distant object appears,” Braine said, describing the event.
The unique image is sure to spark a lot of intrigue, especially considering that the event looks almost paranormal.
According to The New York Times, Dr. Claire Cisowski, a research fellow in optics at the University of Glasgow, likened the phenomenon to a straw in a glass of water or a hand dipped in the sea.
She explained that these illusions occur because “light travels through air and water at different speeds.”
When David Morris snapped a photo of a strange ship he saw while on his morning walk, he didn’t expect it to go viral. https://t.co/JgxPcohunG
— The New York Times (@nytimes) March 6, 2021
Except, in this case, light traveled from air to air.
“Air is not always the same — it has different properties whether it’s cold or hot,” Cisowski said.
“So as light travels differently through these different layers, our brain tries to make sense of that.”
Basically, it all involves air density.
We might expect to find such optical illusions in a place as simple as our own kitchen, yet, on a place as grand as the open sea, the sight surely would shock anyone except those who recognize what is happening.
We see stories of optical illusions all the time, but perhaps the unique aspect of all is that these are byproducts of our minds.
After all, seeing is believing.
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