Eastney beach-goers spot mirage of 'Eastern European' cityscape above the Solent

HAS an eagle-eyed Eastney beach-goer spotted a resurfaced Atlantis off the Isle of Wight?

Wednesday, 16th June 2021, 12:38 pm
Updated Wednesday, 16th June 2021, 6:16 pm

A spooky mirage of what appeared to be a cityscape was spotted by Eastney beach-goers yesterday evening from 7.30pm.

The illusion seemed to show buildings of various heights far out to sea, a few miles east of the Isle of Wight.

Social worker Arthur Scott snapped a picture of the mirage during a day out at the beach with his family.

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A mirage of an 'Eastern bloc' city hovering above the Solent has been spotted from Eastney

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The 56-year-old, visiting the city from his home in Ventnor on the Isle of Wight said: ‘I said to my daughter, ‘are you seeing what I am seeing?’

‘It looked like a city skyline – it was there for about an hour. It looked like an Eastern bloc city in the sea, that’s the best way I can describe it.

‘I get the ferry to Portsmouth every day for work – it didn’t look like Pompey.

Could a refracted container ship explain the odd sight seen above the Solent?

‘There's been quite a lot of 'fata morgana' mirage lately, where ships appear to float in the horizon, but that's not what this was.

‘Like everyone else in Pompey, I'm well used to seeing large container ships that look like floating islands, but this was stationary, way too long, and we looked at it for over an hour.

‘Hopefully someone else got a better photo than this.’

Fata morgana mirages, which are commonly found above large bodies of water, are caused by light rays bending as they pass from cool ground level air to warmer air above it.

The bending of the light rays creates an optical illusion that makes objects appear to hover above the ground.

This is believed to have caused the mirage seen yesterday, according to a spokesman from the Met Office.

He said: ‘The kind of mirage that appears to be in the image is when you have cooler air near the sea surface with a layer of warmer air above it. A calm, hot and sunny day with a temperature inversion is the ideal setup for this to occur.’

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

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