What is the Fata Morgana?

Rainbows and Other Colorful Phenomena Read more from
Chapter Atmospheric Phenomena

This fantastical mirage gets its name from Italy, where this particular type of superior mirage is frequently seen in the Strait of Messina between Sicily and the Italian mainland. Named after the Arthurian legend of Morgan le Fay, who tales tell had a palace beneath the sea, this optical illusion occurs when light diffraction causes distant buildings to appear vertically stretched and, thus, more like castles.


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