Miraged Mallorca

The island of Mallorca is 170km (105 miles) across the Mediterranean from Barcelona, Spain.

Alfons Puertas (images) of Fabra Observatory pictured its distant profile on the morning of 26th December. 

The mountains stretched upwards. The summit of one had two images floating above it, one inverted.

Image ©Alfons Puertas, shown with permission

Normal view

Mirages of all types

Towering & stooping

Superior mirage

Fata Morgana

Distant Mediterranean mountains

Light from Mallorca passed through temperature inversion layers - warmer air above cooler. The cooler air is the lower dark bands near the sea.

Temperature and thus density gradients across the layers refract light rays. Rays deflect towards denser air. The deflection produces the towering seen here and the stacked images above the mountain peak.

A superior mirage at least, with strong flavours of a Fata Morgana.