It can sometimes be hard to deny that something larger than us is at play in the universe.
Sure, everyone has a ghost story, and almost all religion is based on the belief that we are only experiencing a sliver of consciousness during our brief stay in this skin bag…but there are very few of these ethereal experiences that we can share with those around us.
Now, as the threat of war looms large on the Middle East, a solar eclipse has provided our world with just such an event, and it has more than a few wondering it it’s not a sign from above – or below.
Elias Chasiotis had planned on capturing the solar eclipse on December 26 while on holiday in Al Wakrah, Qatar.
And he knew because it came at sunrise he had a chance to capture an even rare phenomenon – a solar eclipse combined with the light-bending mirage effects seen near the surface of the ocean.
He told BoredPanda: “I hoped that optical effects like inferior mirage would be visible and I was lucky enough to capture them.”
This type of mirage over the ocean is called Fata Morgana and occurs when rays of light are bent when they pass through air layers of different temperatures.
It is named after the Arthurian sorceress Morgan le Fay because it was once believed the mirages they were fairy castle created by her witchcraft to lure sailors to their death.
The eery photos are made all the more poignant by the vessel in the foreground.
— Julio Gonzalez (@DrJGonzalezJD) January 8, 2020
As the sun rose, witnesses were likely relieved to find a celestial explanation as opposed to a biblical one.
Photographer captures "red devil horns" in a rare solar eclipse in the Persian Gulf. Between the missiles and the earthquake and the mysterious plane crash it's been a very strange 24 hours. pic.twitter.com/0ihUKPuDLy
— Growling Sidewinder (@GrowlingAim9) January 8, 2020
The timing of the eclipse, just days before the Middle East was again thrown into chaos by Iran and the United States, is yet another example of how the truth can be stranger than fiction.