National News

'Red devil horns' mirage over Persian Gulf stirs social media

Posted January 11, 2020 11:27 a.m. EST
Updated January 11, 2020 11:53 a.m. EST

A photograph of a rare solar eclipse settling over the Persian Gulf in a shape many people see as 'devil horns' is making the rounds on social media.

Some people see red horns. Others see a red bikini. Some even see it as a bad omen.

Given growing tensions in the area of the Persian Gulf, which touches Iraq, Iran and Saudi Arabia, among several other counties, some people have taken to Twitter to share their thoughts on what they consider a symbolic image. Some even shared Bible verses they felt referenced the unusual event.

Photographer and amateur astronomer Elias Chasiotis was in the right place at the right time on Dec. 26, where he waited patiently to capture the annular solar eclipse at sunrise. According to NASA's Astronomy Picture of the Day, the mirage was caused when light was bent by warm air within the Earth's atmosphere -- a phenomenon known as the Etruscan Vase effect.

The image has gone viral, with people debating whether they see devil horns, symbolism, a red bikini or just an incredible astrological event.

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