Inferior Mirage In Venetian Lagoon

February 17, 2022


Photographer: Mario Freitas

Summary Author: Mario Freitas

The photo above was taken while on a boat cruise of the Venetian Lagoon and shows an intriguing optical effects visible on the southern horizon. Incoming sunlight caused the air close to water surface to be warmer and less dense compared to cooler, denser air layers above. This discontinuity in air refraction index forced low angle light rays to bend upwards, giving origin to the illusion of floating masses above the lagoon level. Such phenomenon characterizes an inferior mirage. It’s important to mention the real horizon line is missing in this field of view, thus making invisible the islands' basis, and creating what is called a vanishing line. Photo taken on July 27, 2017.


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