Thursday, April 26, 2012

Fata Morgana

This optical illusion known as a Fata Morgana makes strange shapes or a false wall of water appear above a watery horizon. When conditions are right, light reflecting off of cold water will be bent by an unusual layer of warm air above to arrive at the observer from several different angles. One hundred years ago, such a Fata Morgana mirage might have obscured real icebergs from the clear view of crew onboard the Titanic.
Additional evidence for this distortion hypothesis arises from the nearby vessel SS Californian which reported sightings consistent with Fata Morgana mirages. Read more about the SS Californian and the mystery of why she didn't come to the aid of the Titanic.
The above Fata Morgana mirage was taken off the US Pacific coast in 2008.
Look  at this Fata Morgana in greater detail.  The site also gives a very good explanation for the phenomenom.

2 comments:

Andrew said...

The Wiki link about the Californian was a fascinating read. Someone must make the be all end all tv doco about the Titanic.

JahTeh said...

Andrew, I picked up a little book at a sale and it's the story and the first inquiry about the sinking. Oil rigs have life pods that shoot out to land in the sea and that's what they should have on all ships. A hundred years on and the Concordia couldn't launch lifeboats, the Lusitania couldn't launch lifeboats and in the 50s the Andria Doria couldn't launch lifeboats.
The ships have to be standing still and upright to get a boat off. I'm not sailing, flying or getting on a tram.