Published: 20:10, 04 April 2021
| Updated: 20:10, 04 April 2021
A ship has been spotted off the Kent coast appearing to hover above the sea.
Whitstable mum Charlotte Cornell, 38, was taking a stroll with her family along the seafront near Swalecliffe this afternoon when she spotted the vessel seemingly in mid-air.
The optical illusion is thought to be a Fata Morgana, which is also known as a "superior" mirage.
Ms Cornell said: "We were just out for an Easter Sunday walk off Long Rock and there was the floating ship. Lots of people were stopping to look at it.
"It's a bit of a weather phenomenon that doesn't happen too often and used to scare sailors in the olden days.
"I've never seen one as clearly in Whitstable, so I was quite excited."
These illusions are caused by a meteorological phenomenon called a temperature inversion, which is when warm air lies on top of cooler, denser air close to the sea.
Due to this arrangement, any light that passes through the colder air is bent downwards as it travels towards passersby, making objects appear to be above their actual positions.
Such occurrences are most common in the Arctic.
In April last year, well-timed photographs captured another 'flying ship' over Folkestone harbour.
The pictures were taken by Pat Cocks, of The Leas, at a time when the blue of the sea and the sky merged into one.
This resulted in the ship in the water actually looking like it was in the sky.