Optical Illusion: Boat Spotted 'Floating in Mid-Air'

Published March 18th, 2021 - 10:37 GMT
boat 'floating in mid-air'
boat is 'floating in mid-air' (Twitter)
Highlights
David Braine, BBC meteorologist explained that the phenomenon is caused conditions in the atmosphere which bend light. 

Another boat has been spotted 'floating in mid-air' off the coast of Britain in a bizarre optical illusion which makes it appear as if the cruise ship is hovering above the water. 

The unusual sight has been seen across the UK, with sightings in Cornwall, Devon and Aberdeenshire in just a matter of days.

The latest viewing was spotted by Ryan Rushforth off the coast of Bournemouth, Dorset, yesterday evening. 

The floating phenomenon is known as Fata Morgana which is created when the sun heats up the atmosphere above either the land or the sea.

The warmer air sits above cold air which then causes the light from the ship to bend. 

The Anthem of the Seas cruise ship, an 168,000-tonne Royal Caribbean liner, looked like it was hovering above the water. 

The 347-metre ship has a capacity of 4,180 and was spotted near Bournemouth Pier. 

Mr Rushforth said:  'Is it me or is this boat floating? Was really, really amazing to see it in person, it looked incredible I must say.' 

While sightings of superior mirages are often seen in the Arctic, they are uncommon in the UK.

David Braine, BBC meteorologist explained that the phenomenon is caused conditions in the atmosphere which bend light. 

'Superior mirages occur because of the weather condition known as a temperature inversion, where cold air lies close to the sea with warmer air above it,' he said.

'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.'

While there have been many examples of people spotting objects floating above the water, Mr Morris noted people have also witnessed items below the horizon which have then become visible due to the optical illusion. 

This article has been adapted from its original source.


© Associated Newspapers Ltd.

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