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Ships appear to be 'floating in the sky' due to rare optical illusion
Featured Image Credit: Instagram/@the.pinklemonade

Ships appear to be 'floating in the sky' due to rare optical illusion

People have been experiencing a cool optical illusion that makes things appear to float

Have you even strolled along the beach and felt like your eyes were deceiving you?

You’re not alone.

In fact, it’s a pretty common occurrence for beachgoers to think that they are seeing something otherworldly when looking at ships in the ocean.

But it’s not a flying boat at all, it’s just your run of the mill rare optical illusion.

The illusion is called Fata Morgana and it’s caused by warm air that is resting on patches of cold air in an atmospheric duct.

This means that when you see something on the horizon, it can appear to be mirrored, floating or otherwise distorted due to this air acting like a refracting lens.

Maybe it could even be the reason for the famous Flying Dutchman legend?

Instagram has been the latest to showcase this crazy phenomenon where users are shocked and in awe over images over floating ships.

The optical illusion is rare.
Wikimedia Commons

Taking to the comments, one person excitedly typed: “I've been going to the beach my whole life, I ain't NEVER seen no sh*t like this!”

One user wanted to debunk the Flying Dutchman legend altogether, getting right into the origin: “Cool but the flying Dutchman was crewed by ghosts. That's why it flew. I saw it in a Historical Documentary called "Pirates of the Caribbean" which as you all know was made of real footage they found from the 1700s. Sooooo this post is very inaccurate.”

Someone else theorised why sailors enjoyed a few too many drinks: “This is why early sailors would drink heavily. Well… that’s one of the reasons.”

Have you experienced Fata Morgana?
Reddit/ @LSD25hoffmans-potion

Mostly, commenters just didn’t believe it without seeing it in person.

Redditors also enjoyed talking about this optical illusion, sharing images and trying to explain the ways in which things can float depending on weather.

One such person went all science on everyone, commenting: “Well, there's a fata morgana, which is an illusion due to light refraction, and what is claimed is happening in the OP.

“But that's not what is actually happening. Those ships aren't that far out. There's haze that's causing the water to visually blend in with the air at a distance, creating a false horizon.

“That gives the cruise ships the appearance of floating on air. If it had been a less hazy day, the ships would be visible in the same spot, but you'd see the water they are on.”

I feel like I’ve learned so much already.

Have you ever seen something float in the distance but found that it was all a trick of the eye?

Topics: Weird, News, Social Media, Reddit, Instagram