NEMURO, Hokkaido -- An extremely rare double mirage was observed near a frozen lake here on Feb. 14.

Yasushi Nagao, 55, from Nemuro, managed to capture the optical phenomenon on his camera at around 7 a.m. on St. Valentine's Day, when he noticed that a virtual image of several buildings located on the opposite shore of Lake Furen stood mirrored underneath the buildings.

Furthermore, a second mirage showing pretenses of snow and ice piled upside-down underneath the real objects could be seen below the buildings.

Mirages appearing beneath the real object are known as "inferior mirages." They occur when the air near the ground is significantly warmer than that higher up. According to experts, when light rays pass through such warm air, they bend in an upward trajectory, as if seen through lenses.

"I've never heard of a double (inferior mirage)," said Takuya Ogane, the director of Japan Mirage Association, expressing his surprise at the news. Source

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