Bizarre ‘ghost ship’ sighting leaves internet baffled

People have been left baffled by what appears to be a ship floating in the air, as it hangs above the water.

British man David Morris snapped a photo of the ship in waters off the coast of Cornwall in England’s southwest, capturing the rare optical illusion.

Mr Morris’s son told Cornwall Live the sighting left the pair “amazed and very baffled”.

On social media, people were left puzzled and in awe of the optical phenomenon, often referred to as “ghost ships”.

“It’s a UFO,” one man joked.

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Others called it “spectacular’ and “crazy”.

“If I was walking along the beach one day and saw this I’d fall over,” one woman tweeted.

Why does the ship appear to be flying?
While it might appear as though the ship is suspended in air, BBC meteorologist David Braine explained it’s actually an optical illusion known as a “superior mirage”.

“David Morris took a photo of the “floating ship” while walking near Falmouth, Cornwall. This rare phenomenon, Fata Morgana, makes it appear like a ship is floating above water and occurs when cold air sits on top of warm air and bends the light downward.”

— Insta Science (@insta_science) March 5, 2021

“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,” Mr Braine 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.”

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