Chicago isn't something you're supposed to be able to see all the way from Warren Dunes State Park in Michigan, so that's why Joshua Super ruled out the city's skyline as a possible explanation for the strange object he saw hovering over the horizon on Lake Michigan while on a recent camping trip with his girlfriend. The spectacle, which they captured in photos, left the two scratching their heads, and left Super nearly convinced that something other-worldly was rising from the depths of the lake.
"Honestly, when we were watching it from atop that sand dune, neither of us had a clue of what it was, nor ever figured it out that night," Super said by email. "At first we thought maybe really strange rain/cloud patterns, but it was too machined to be that. We had ruled out Chicago since we knew there's no way it would be that close, and the pattern didn't really look like a city skyline anyway."
That's because what they were seeing was what's called a superior mirage, or a unique phenomenon that occurs when warm air builds up over cold air and distorts light, according to a report by the Chicago Tribune. Because of the mirage, the skyline appeared to be upside-down, which would make it pretty difficult to distinguish the city's signature skyscrapers 60 miles away. Here's a closer look: