Mirages

Mirages are very constant in comic books. In them a very thirsty traveler sees a puddle of water and runs to meet it, when he gets close he realizes that it is a mirage. Many people think that mirages are hallucinations or even illusions. However, contrary to what they think, they are not hallucinations, much less illusions. Mirage is a real optical phenomenon that can be photographed.

In everyday life, mirages happen, for example, on highways and on very hot days. The driver, while traveling on the highway, sees what appears to be an image of a vehicle reflected on the asphalt, giving the impression that it is wet and that the vehicle was reflected by the water. When he passes near the place he notices that it is dry.

The term mirage is of French origin. It is formed from a physical phenomenon called refraction , a phenomenon that refers to the deviations of light rays. On days of intense heat, a layer of warmer air forms close to the ground. This air is less dense than the air in the layer just above it, which is cooler air. Just as light rays travel faster in hot air, they bend upwards. However, our brain intercepts the sun’s rays as if they were traveling along a straight path. When this happens, we see the object reflected and inverted, giving the impression that, in the case of the asphalt example, the floor is wet. Water is illusion, but the image is real.

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