In the south-west of the UK, a man photographed a 'flying boat.' A surreal scene which nevertheless has a completely rational explanation.
Some may cry foul play when they discover the photograph taken by one David Morris, near Falmouth in the south-west of the United Kingdom. And you'd be forgiven, as the shot seems unreal. But we assure you that it is 100% true and we can even explain to you why this huge boat seems to be flying in the air, over the sea.
A boat that flies several yards above the water?
First of all, what do we see in the image? Close to the coast, a very large boat sails but gives the impression that it is flying several meters above the sea. That is something which really rattle the brains. A user shared the shot, expressing his incomprehension.
I even have to read the flying boat story before I can make snarky comments about it?
Two things need to be clarified. First, this image is not rigged. Second, and you might have guessed it, this boat obviously doesn't fly. But the reason why it seems to be suspended in the air is very interesting.
A very rare optical illusion
David Morris told the BBC that the sight had 'surprised and bewildered' him. And for good damn reasons. British media meteorologist David Braine looked into the subject and provided some explanations for everyone to see more clearly.
Superior mirages occur due to weather conditions known as temperature inversion, when cold air is near the sea and warmer air above (...) The cold air being denser than warm air, it bends the light towards the eyes of someone standing on the ground or on the coast, thus altering the appearance of a distant object (...) Higher mirages can produce different types of images - here a distant ship appears to be floating above its actual position, but sometimes an object below the horizon may become visible.
This illusion would therefore be rather common in the Arctic but extremely rare in the United Kingdom. It reminds us strongly of the video of that other 'flying boat' that we were talking about here a short time ago. In any case, Internet users seemed perplexed by this image. 'It seems too perfect to me, too sharp' questions one of them. 'Just when you think things can't get weirder,' another joked.