The Strait of Messina between Sicily and Southern Italy has long been associated with one of the most fascinating mirages known: the Fata Morgana. Italian for “Morgan the fairy,” the phenomenon is named after the fabled fairy/witch Morgan le Fay — featured in Arthurian legends — who used her mystical powers to conjure up images of castles in the air. These fanciful visions bewitched sailors, leading them into danger. Some believed that one special optical illusion — a looming palace — was le Fay’s enchanted island dwelling.
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