Photographer spots 'hovering ship' off South Shields coast

A ship appeared to be hovering in mid-air off the South Shields coast.

Thursday, 11th March 2021, 12:31 pm

Professional landscape photographer Steven Lomas captured this striking image of a ship appearing to be hovering in the air as he drove past the cliffs at Marsden.

Steven was on his way to work at around 8am on Tuesday, March 9 when he saw the unusual sight and pulled over his car to take the snap on his phone.

It comes just days after an image of a vessel ‘in the air’ was spotted near Falmouth, Cornwall.

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Steven said he had seen the story reported in the news and had been looking out to see if he could spot the same on the South Shields coast.

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Steven said: “I saw it as I was heading to work around 8am.

"I had seen the similar mirage down in Cornwall on the news recently and as I headed down the Marsden Bank I wondered if I would see something similar as the sea looked odd.

Photographer Steven Lomas captured this striking image of a ship hovering in the air off the coast of South Shields.

“It was good to see – especially with other ships around it appearing to be in the sea.”

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

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.

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