If you're an avid fan of traveling, then it's a difficult decision to choose between riding cruise ships and flying on an airplane, but what if you could do both at the same time? Such is what happened with this cruise ship that was captured flying across the horizon at Mount Maunganui in New Zealand. The vessel was under the effects of an optical illusion called 'Fata Morgana.'
Beachgoer Monika Shaffner captured the image, and the event stunned all the onlookers observing the marvelous sight.
Shaffner shared her record on Facebook and shared the event with her social media friends.
What is happening?
The optical illusion seen in the post is called 'Fata Morgana," which could be understood as referencing witchcraft and magic, thus insinuating that a magical sorceress does the event.
The illusion is a complicated form of mirage, but it can be viewed in a narrow area just over the horizon. The event significantly warps the image of whatever is caught in its grasps, from changing how they look to obscuring them completely.
Fata Morgana can be seen on both land and sea, and only needs the right conditions to trigger. It occurs whenever rays of light move through layers of air with varying temperatures and are bent on a steep thermal inversion state where an atmospheric duct has set.
The event is most regularly viewed in polar regions and on giant sheets of ice that have a consistently low temperature. It is still possible to occur in other areas, although much rarer due to the needed specific conditions.
Fata Morgana is usually viewed on cold days, but it may happen on hot days as well. For the illusion to be possible, thermal inversion has to be at a stable condition so that the curvature of the light rays inside is higher than that of the Earth.
For you to be able to see the illusion, you'd have to be at a location that is within or below the atmospheric duct, though it can still be seen at any altitude.
Since the atmosphere is continually changing, a Fata Morgana mirage can change in several different ways in a short amount of time.
The illusion can be seen without any special equipment used. Still, if you're looking to view the nitty-gritty details that lie within, it's best to use binoculars, telescopes, or cameras to enhance your vision of the event.
The suspect for a massive crime?
Tim Maltin, who is a British historian, theorized in 2012 that the Titanic was sunk by an iceberg that was under the effects of Fata Morgana, causing the crew of the iconic ship unable to see the obstacle before it was too late.
The expert believes the water behind the iceberg was 'bent' by the illusion, covering the massive ice layer and hiding it from sight and causing one of the most infamous tragedies in recorded history.