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I do not know how many of you have happened to be on the seafront in Reggio Calabria, and looking towards Sicily to see, and be amazed and fascinated at the same time, a particular mirage.

The city of Messina with its houses as reflected in the sea appeared close, so close, that it could be almost touched by stretching out your arms.

An illusion, actually a magnificent illusion that the ancients called the Fata Morgana.

The illusion can be explained scientifically as a phenomenon of light refraction, which in certain atmospheric conditions allows you to witness this visual “deception”.

It is an exciting sight that can only be admired in particular weather conditions.

It is a phenomenon of light refraction by which, projection of the city of Messina with its houses and mountains onto the sea, gives the impression that the two sides can be touched by reaching out.

The ancients, fascinated but surely also frightened by what they saw, were unable to give themselves an explanation, so used the myth of the fairy Morgana.

Morgana, who according to legend was the half-sister of King Arthur and had chosen Sicily as a home. With her powers she misled mariners by creating the phenomenon that gave the impression that Messina was very close.

But this was not the case.

For us, today, that optical phenomenon, which we can sometimes see while being “bewitched”, has a scientific explanation.

But it still manages to amaze us by kidnapping our gaze and bringing Morgana to mind.

The fairy who, jealous of her island, makes the houses of the city of Messina materialize with her “magic”, on this sea that looks like a lake, enclosed as it is between the two shores.

Cover Picture from Wikipedia