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In ancient stories Fata Morgana (also known as Morgan le Fay) was a fairy enchantress skilled in the art of changing shape. One story says she learned many of her skills from Merlin the Magician and lived in a castle under the sea.
She sometimes made her castle appear up in the air, luring seamen to what they thought was a safe harbor. Her name is therefore given to an optical illusion (or mirage) of solid, well-defined coastal features that appear where there are none. Distant objects are distorted and stretched vertically - or a flat shoreline may appear to have tall cliffs, columns, and pedestals.
Alternating warm and cold layers of air near the ground or water surface cause light to be bent towards the colder, denser air. The result can be a distorted light path and a strange image of a distant object that is, in fact, not there.
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Library: Environment / Atmosphere
Sky / Seasons, Arctic, Haloes
Ice Blink & Water Sky, Fogbows, Sun Dogs
Links: Arctic, Environment
Arctic Maps & Weather Reports
DICTIONARY: Just "double-click" any unlinked word on this page for the definition from Merriam-Webster's Student Electronic Dictionary at Word Central.
ARCTIC LIBRARY & GLOSSARY: Check this section for an index of the rest of the things you really need to know about the Arctic.
ARCTIC MAPS & WEATHER REPORTS: Maps of the Northwest Passage, explorers' routes, iceberg sources, Nunavut, the Arctic by treeline, temperature...
ARCTIC LINKS: Even more information! Links to sites related to the Arctic and "Iceberg: the Story of the Throps and the Squallhoots".
GUIDE TO ARCTIC SUNRISE & SUNSET: How much sunlight or darkness is there in the Arctic on each day of the year?