Floating ship leaves people all at sea

Picture: David Morris

A floating, hovering ship has been sighted off the Cornish coast – baffling most people.

The tanker can ben seen “sailing” high above the sea.

It was spotted by walker David Morris who took a picture.

He said he was “stunned” by the image taken at Gillan, near Falmouth.

However, experts said the illusion was a “superior mirage”.

It only happens when “special atmospheric conditions bend the light”.

BBC meteorologist David Braine added:

“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.

“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.

“Superior mirages can produce a few different types of images – here a distant ship appears to float high above its actual position, but sometimes an object below the horizon can become visible.”

The illusion is common in the Arctic but can appear “very rarely” in the UK during winter.

About the Author

Philip Braund spent 16 years at the Daily Mirror as a reporter and news editor before moving to ITV. He was the series producer of the ground-breaking investigation programme The Cook Report, Managing Editor at ITV's Millbank Studios, and Head of News at ITV Central. He has won national and regional Royal Television Society awards for documentaries.

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