By Tim Binnall
An odd piece of footage circulating online appears to show a 'cloud castle' floating in the sky above a city in China. The spooky scene was reportedly filmed by a bewildered onlooker this past Friday in the city of Jinan and their video subsequently went viral on the Chinese social media site Weibo. In the footage, a rather distinct-looking building which sports three towers can be seen sitting atop a cloud high over the city. The unique nature of the structure had many observers comparing the building to the iconic Hogwarts School from the world of Harry Potter.
Sadly, the strange sighting was not the arrival of a witchcraft academy over Jinan, but an optical illusion known as Fata Morgana. The source of several similar 'cloud cities' captured on film in recent years, the meteorological phenomenon occurs when layers of warm and cold air interact and create the reflection of a nearby site in the sky. In this case, the 'castle' was likely a nearby residential building that happens to feature towers that match those seen on the building in the footage.