Ship captured ‘floating in the sky’ in bizarre optical illusion photo
A ship has been photographed ‘floating in the sky’ in another example of an incredible optical illusion.
An entire cruise liner appears to defy gravity to float in the air above the surface of the sea in this photo snapped off the coast of Cornwall.
Dave Medlock spotted the bizarre apparition as he was out walking his dog over the weekend.
But the vessel was of course in the water – appearing to be floating due to a phenomenon known as a ‘superior mirage’.
The effect is caused by light rays bending to displace an image and make it appear above where it really is.
The mirage made the P&O cruise ship spotted off the coast of Lyme Bay, Devon, look as though it was flying.
A superior mirage describes a spectacle in which the displaced image appears to be located above the real object.
It occurs when the air below the line of sight is colder than the air above it.
Mr Medlock said: “I took the picture on Sunday, March 7, when I was walking my dog along the seafront.
“It looks like something from Back to the Future, but I know it’s a special type of mirage.”
This incredible phenomenon is likely to be familiar to seafarers and coastal-dwellers lucky enough to have seen it before.
But stunning photos capturing the phenomenon hit the headlines last week, introducing the spectacle to a far wider audience.
Last week, David Morris snapped the stunning optical illusion off the Cornish coastline showing a large boat appearing to float across the blue sky above the water.
Mr Morris, who had seen the phenomenon before, said he was still “amazed and very baffled” at the eerie sight as he snapped the picture on his walk through Falmouth.
And Colin McCallum spotted a red “floating vessel” on the horizon as he travelled through Banff, Aberdeenshire, last Friday.
He was stunned by the sighting, and filmed what he saw as he passed by.
He shared the footage to Facebook, where the post was widely shared as people were awestruck by the optical illusion.
Speaking after his post went viral, Colin said he had since discovered what caused the phenomenon.
He said: “It was caused by a cloud formation closer to the shore which changed the colour of the water closer to the land.
“The boat, being further away, was in a cloudless area and therefore the sky reflected the sea- making it look like the boat was floating.”