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fata morgana:see miragemirage
, atmospheric optical illusion in which an observer sees in the distance a nonexistent body of water or an image, sometimes distorted, of some object or of a complete scene.
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a complex optical atmospheric phenomenon, consisting of several forms of mirage in which distant objects are seen in multiple and with various distortions. Fata morgana arises when several successive layers of air of varying density, capable of mirror reflections, form in the lower strata of the atmosphere. As a result of both reflection and the refraction of light rays, real objects produce images on the horizon or above it; each object produces several distorted images, partly overlapping and rapidly changing in time, creating the strange, fantastical picture of fata morgana.