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Why Is This Cargo Ship Floating above the Water?

 

This scene from the southwest coast of England depicts a "superior mirage." It's a type of optical illusion that appears under particular weather conditions. When there's a layer of cold air on top of a layer of warm air, light refracted through it distorts. The Guardian explains:

Because cold air is denser than warm air, it has a higher refractive index. In the case of the “hovering ship”, this means light rays coming from the ship are bent downwards as it passes through the colder air, to observers on the shoreline. This makes the ship appear in a higher position than it really is – in this instance, above the sea surface.

TL;DR version: sorcery.

-via TYWKIWDBI


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