Mystery Floating City Appears Over China ... And It's Not A 'Star Wars' Promo

Meteorological evidence, not speculation, points to a mirage.
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A floating city was reported in early October by citizens of the Chinese cities of Foshan and Jiangxi. Not only did this amazing sight appear in clouds, but it was also videotaped by a local resident.

If it was seen by many and videotaped, does that rule out a Photoshop hoax or other clever form of fakery?

According to the Christian Science Monitor, the floating skyline apparition spawned a variety of theories, including dimensional portals and parallel universes. UPI reported online claims that the Chinese government was testing secret holographic technology.

Floating cities are nothing new, at least in science fiction, where they've been depicted in the original "Star Trek" television series and "Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back." But what's going on here where the alleged hovering skyscrapers were actually seen by so many? That takes it a little beyond Sci-Fi.

Check out a video of the floating city apparition:

In fact, it's actually good old science. It even has a name: Fata Morgana, from the Italian name Morgan Le Fay, a medieval sorceress who, according to legend, created an illusion of buildings over the Straight of Messina in Italy that lured sailors to death.

The describes a fata morgana as: "a mirage consisting of multiple images, as of cliffs and buildings, that are distorted and magnified to resemble elaborate castles."

It's an "optical illusion that distorts distant objects as a result of cool temperatures on the ground contrasting with hotter temperatures high in the air," according to UPI.

"The illusion is due to a slightly unusual temperature structure in the lower part of the atmosphere," said Kenneth Bowman, an atmospheric scientist from Texas A&M University.

"When you get this unusual temperature structure in the atmosphere, you can get light rays where light scatters off the surface and goes up into the atmosphere and is refracted back down to the surface again.

"It's not exactly a reflection because it's not a mirror, but it's like looking through a lens and you're seeing the surface at a long distance away, but it looks like it's floating up in the atmosphere," Bowman told The Christian Science Monitor.

When Bowman was asked if he thought the floating city appearance could have been a holographic projection, he said, "No, that falls into the category of wacko."

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