Inferior Mirage off the Coast of Sicily

January 13, 2023


Photographer: Emanuele Nifosi 

Summary Authors: Emanuele Nifosi; Jim Foster

Shown above is an inferior mirage I observed in the Mediterranean Sea on October 8, 2022 (near noon), when I visited the "Pantano Longarini" (Marza, Ispica) to photograph flamingos. The "elevated submarine" is actually the island of Correnti, off the southernmost point of Sicily.  It was captured from the coast of Marza (Ispica) -- 11.7 km distant as the crow flies. Mirages like this may be detected on bodies of water whenever layers of warm air, at or very near the surface, lie below relatively cooler air. For objects viewed beyond the optical horizon, differences in density (refractive properties) between layers of air act to displace the distant object in such a way that its lower portion appears to vanish. As a result, Correnti Island seems to be floating above the level of the sea. 

Photo details: Nikon D700 camera; NIKKOR 200-500 mm lens at 420 mm; ISO 500; f/14; 1/800 second exposure. Photo taken 10 ft (3 m) above the level of the sea.


Marza (Ispica), Sicily, Italy Coordinates:  36.645302, 36.694744

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