'The Fata Morgana', 1849.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Colour engraving by Josiah Wood Whymper taken from 'Phenomena of Nature', published in London in 1849 for the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge. 'In the Straits of Mesina, between Sicily and the coast of Italy, a remarkable phenomenon sometimes occurs, which, from the fairy-like effect produced, is called the 'Fata Morgana'. Under certain weather conditions, pictures of objects existing on the shore pas rapidly in succesion along the surface of the sea during the brief period of their appearance.'