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Rare Mirage Lasts for 4 Hours off East China Shore
    2006-05-07 19:57:23      Xinhua

(A mirage appears off the shore of Penglai City in eastern China's Shandong Province on Sunday, May 7, 2005. Photo: China Photo Press)

(A mirage appears off the shore of Penglai City in eastern China's Shandong Province on Sunday, May 7, 2005. Photo: China Photo Press)

Thousands of tourists and local residents witnessed a mirage of high clarity lasting for four hours off the shore of Penglai City in east China's Shandong Province on Sunday.

Mists rising on the shore created an image of a city, with modern high-rise buildings, broad city streets and bustling cars as well as crowds of people all clearly visible.

The city of Penglai had been soaked by two days of rain before the rare weather phenomenon occurred.

The mirage took place during the week-long Labor Day holiday. The small city received over 30,000 tourists on Sunday.

Experts said that many mirages have been recorded in Penglai, on the tip of Shandong Peninsula, throughout history, which made it known as a dwelling place of the gods.

They explained that a mirage is formed when moisture in the air becomes warmer than the temperature of sea water, which refracts rays of sunlight to create reflections of the landscape in the sky.

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