A BIZARRE ‘floating ship’ has been spotted off the British coast following a string of mind-bending optical illusions.
The vessel was captured from a pub garden in Minster On Sea, Kent, leaving onlookers baffled.
The ship appeared to be hovering in the sky, well above the horizon and seemingly out of the water.
But a rare optical illusion is to blame for the bizarre appearance — which follows a string of similar sightings last month.
One man in Falmouth, Cornwall, was left «extremely baffled» just weeks ago when he spotted a large vessel apparently floating just above the waves.
Days earlier, several cruise ships were also seen «hovering» above the waters off the coast of Paignton, Devon
Then Colin McCallum spotted a large red «floating vessel» on the horizon as he travelled through Banff, Aberdeenshire.
The phenomenon — known as Fata Morgana — is created when the sun heats up the atmosphere above either the land or the sea.
A layer of warmer air sits on top of a layer of cold air, causing the light from the ship to bend and making colours blend together.
For a Fata Morgana to appear, the atmospheric conditions have to be just right, the Mail Online reports.
It starts with a cold air mass close to the ground or surface of the water that is topped by a warm layer of air higher in the atmosphere.
And although the phenomenon can occur on land, they are more common at sea because water helps to form the cool air layer required.
BBC meteorologist David Braine previously said the phenomenon is caused conditions in the atmosphere which bend light.
«Superior mirages occur because of the weather condition known as a temperature inversion, where cold air lies close to the sea with warmer air above it,» he said.