Why Was There A Ship Floating In Mid-Air At A Golf Tournament?

Good news: Scotland is not under attack by flying boats.

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This has, understandably, confused some TV viewers.

Flying boat off the coast of Aberdeen during @SkySports' coverage of the Scottish Open...

Kevin O'Sullivan@TVKev

Flying boat off the coast of Aberdeen during @SkySports' coverage of the Scottish Open...

6:01 PM - 13 Jul 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

Drama at the Scottish Open at Royal Aberdeen as a low flying ship passes overhead. #AAMScottishOpen @EuropeanTour

Dave Galloway@davegalloway83

Drama at the Scottish Open at Royal Aberdeen as a low flying ship passes overhead. #AAMScottishOpen @EuropeanTour

2:21 AM - 14 Jul 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

So, er, what's going on?

Pah, that sunset is ok, by there was a flying ship earlier at the Scottish Open.... Nice spot @Rottweiler17

LULU SÁNCHEZ@lulunix

Pah, that sunset is ok, by there was a flying ship earlier at the Scottish Open.... Nice spot @Rottweiler17

9:12 PM - 13 Jul 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

It's almost certainly due to an astmospheric optical effect called "looming", similar to mirages.

Tom Phillips/BuzzFeed/ilyast/syntika/Thinkstock

Most common when a layer of warm air passes over a cold body of water, looming is caused by the refraction of light as it passes through air of different densities. This bends the light, making it appear to the observer that objects on (or even below) the horizon are elevated in the air. It can also make them appear much larger.

In this case, that effect is accentuated by the fact that the pictures are close cropped versions of an already heavily zoomed picture.

A flying ship at the Aberdeen Scottish Open

Mark Rowan@RT_Swift27

A flying ship at the Aberdeen Scottish Open

5:57 PM - 13 Jul 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

BuzzFeed reached out to Sky Sports, the UK broadcaster of the Scottish Open, for comment. A Sky Sports spokesperson denied that it was a flying ship, and added, "This is a ridiculous story."