"On the left side of the picture there are patches of sky mixed with the distant shingle," says Cowley. "This is the familiar 'hot road' mirage. Light rays bend as they pass between layers of air cooled by the sea and heated by the sun-warmed shingle. The scene is chaotic and changing as the air layers become turbulent. That's the easy part!"
"The mirage gets more complicated because in places rays pass through at least three air layers," he says. "There is sea-cooled air under spit-warmed air beneath a higher layer of cool air. The layers tilt as air drives upwards over the spit. Light passing through this complex thicket of thermal layers produced a fearsome-looking tsunami. A similar mirage over the river Danube shows this well." www.spaceweather.com