Mirages are a lovely way of playing with our minds. See how much light can do and how it can deceive the human brain. In the case of a Mirage, what you see is not what you truly see.
Mirages are not magic or mere hallucination. They can be easily captured on cameras. It is a kind of hallucination created through the light that reflects from a false image of the observer’s location. It is purely a game played in the human brain. Usually, the land’s mirages are misinterpreted as natural water bodies.
What creates a Mirage?
It is an optical illusion created by the reflection of light on the Earth’s surface. They are usually made in a variety of settings. The main areas where you could easily find a mirage created are deserts, roads, and large water bodies. The light creates a mirage traveling through the air, which is bent due to its variation in temperature and density.
Inferior mirages are the most common types of mirages. They are usually created on a water body, a road, or on the horizon. But believe! There is none. The abovementioned principle of air being bent closer to the ground creates a virtual picture of the sky on the floor. But the human brain interprets it as a water body, as you usually expect to see.
Superior mirages are another common occurrence. These mirages are usually created above the actual position of the objects; for instance, the ships appear to be floating in the air. The reason for this is the layer of cool air over the layer of warm air. It makes the light bend upwards. So, the brain sees it as the object or the image being in a higher position than the actual placement of the thing.
Fata Morgana mirages are more complex than most of these. It is named after the fairy in the Arthurian legend. These mirages are also often seen over large water bodies or in deserts. They also can create an illusion in the skyline or other descriptive images. In this case, the light is bent through different layers with various temperature and density levels.
Many myths and legends are connected to the mirages worldwide and throughout history. The Greek history and the myths say that the marriages are connected to the sirens who lured the sailors to their deaths, promising water during the tiff times. Also, it is believed to be a bad omen, a sign of impending danger. And some believe it is a sign of something good to happen very soon.
The legend of the Flying Dutchman is also a very famous legend related to the Mirages. It is a story about a ghost ship doomed to sail forever in the sea. This story was told in the 17th century. Also, in the 19th and 20th centuries, many sailors saw lights flashing from the fantom ships. And many believe that it is the Flying Dutchman’s sign to the dead. Just seeing the Flying Dutchman is believed to be the beginning of something terrible in the sea. But now it has been proved that it is the Fata Morgana phenomenon.
Apart from the Mythical beliefs and the legendary importance of the Mirages, they also have practical values and advantages. They are accommodating in locating water sources, especially in a desert, as mirages usually appear over an area that has water underground. They are also used for military purposes to conceal the positions of troops or vehicles.
Mirages happen during the day as well as at night. If you have the right conditions, it can happen at any time. At night, it is mostly the artificial lights that create the mirages. The glow from vehicles, airplanes, ships, buildings, and other sources is vital for mirages occurring at night.
Most of all, Mirages are fascinating and have captured people’s hearts. They might confuse you most of the time but still remind you of the power of the human mind to capture the perception of reality.