Fata Morgana

I came across this word today while I was online. I’m not sure how I got to it, as my wanderings around the internet can be quite aimless, but something brought me to a list of Werner Herzog films, and seeing mention of his 1971 film reminded me of the term.

If you’re not familiar with it, it’s simply a fancy way to refer to a mirage. More specifically, it was originally used to refer to a specific type of mirage which can often be observed in the Straits of Messina between Sicily and mainland Italy. The name is the Italian translation of Morgan Le Fay, sorceress/witch/fairy half-sister of King Arthur in British legend. The effect was so named because people believed that the illusions they saw were her castle in the sky. And looking at this recent example from China, you can understand that: Continue reading