Photographer captures hovering ferry pictured off Sunderland coast

A ferry appear to be hovering in mid-air in an uncommon phenomenon pictured off the Sunderland coast.

Monday, 7th June 2021, 5:40 pm

Ian Maggiore, who took up photography as a hobby five years ago, had visited Seaburn on Sunday morning (June 6) when he spotted a DFDS ferry appear to be hovering in the distance.

Earlier this year, a photograph taken of a vessel ‘in the air’ was spotted near Falmouth, Cornwall, and made national news headlines.

The mirage, which is caused by temperature inversion, is uncommon but this isn’t the first time the 64-year-old photographer has seen it.

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Ian Maggiore pictured a ferry which appeared to be hovering above the sea

"I took the picture because the ferry appeared to be ‘floating’ above the sea. I think it happens once every two or three months, so it’s not very common. It all depends on the weather forecast but I’ve seen others post pictures of it along the North East coast too,” he said.

BBC weather explained previously that the hovering ships were actually a ‘superior mirage’ - most commonly seen in polar regions.

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BBC senior weather presenter Jen Bartram said on Twitter that this trick of the light is caused by a temperature inversion - a layer of cold air above the sea, with warmer air above.

As light travels to our eye from the ship, it bends towards the colder air, and it's this refraction which makes the eye think the ship is much higher than it really is.

The following day, Ian, a restaurant manager, pictured a pod of dolphins playing off the coast near Roker Pier.

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