lateral mirage
   The term lateral mirage comes from the Latin adjective lateralis (side) and the French verb se mirer (to reflect, to be reflected). It is used to denote a type of "mirage or "physical illusion occurring along hot, vertical structures such as a sunlit wall, reflecting the scene or landscape just beyond that structure. Lateral mirages can be designated as " inferior mirages occurring in the vertical plane. They are attributed to differences in the refractive index of the air, due to a lateral temperature gradient caused by the heat of the wall, and the cooler air a few centimetres away. Temperature gradients of a relatively high complexity can yield complex distortions. These include vibrating, horizontally extended (i.e. 'towering'), and flattened (i.e. 'stooping') images. The term lateral mirage is used in opposition to the terms "inferior mirage, "superior mirage, and "double mirage.
   References
   Lynch, D.K., Livingston, W. (1995). Color and light in nature. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Dictionary of Hallucinations. . 2010.

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