The great warm up has begun! It’s about time some warm air broke through the -30 temperatures of the Christmas deep freeze. There is a giant mirage today, raising the banks of the Peace way up into the air.
Please enjoy this post, first seen in February of 2011, about the phenomenon as seen from Spirit River.
Submitted by Carolyn Brown
Warm air shimmering across the valley made for an all-day mirage on Tuesday. Here’s a series of pictures of the mirage progressing through the afternoon.
Some interesting things about mirages:
In the First World War, an army of 22,000 Turks, Kurds and Arabs fled from battle at Shaiba. A mirage had so distorted a pack train approaching the British line that it appeared to them to be a huge body of reinforcements. Thinking they were sure to be crushed in short order, they panicked – deserting a battle they had very nearly won.
Two non-existent landmasses in the Canadian Arctic were mapped and named by mistake, probably due to mirages:
In 1818, Sir John Ross had reached Lancaster Sound but failed to turn into the Northwest Passage because he could see mountains blocking the way ahead. He named them the Crocker Mountains after the First Secretary of the Admiralty, then turned around and went home, despite the protestations of some crew members who tried to explain about mirages. A year later, when William Edward Parry sailed right through the “Crocker Mountains,” the First Secretary was not amused with Ross. After that Sir John had to find his own funding.
88 years later, Robert Peary was exploring in what is now Nunavut when he spotted a large landmass. Oddly enough, he named his Crocker Land after another Mr. Crocker. The Crocker Land Expedition set out to find the mysterious mountains, chasing them for five days before finally believing their Inuit guide was right: Crocker Land was a mirage.
Could these “discoveries” have anything to do with the expression “what a crock”? That surely must have been the sentiment of the disgraced Sir John Ross, and of the Crocker Land explorers when they made it back to base after ten days of chasing rainbows!