Chicago Skyline Visible from 60 Miles? Superior Mirage at work?


Image Credit: Joshua Nowicki (@StartVisiting)

There are many images that have been taken from great distances, over water, showing skylines and other landmarks, which should not be visible from the viewer’s perspective – if we live on a sphere 24,901 miles (or 40,075 km) in circumference. Below is a break-down of the image shown, in terms of earth’s expected curvature.  We have used the Earth Curve Calculator, which shows us the expected distance to the horizon, as well as the height at which distant objects would need to be, in order to be visible by the observer.

We do not know the exact height of the camera/observer, so we have been very conservative and simply placed a value of 100 feet.

Distance from the shore of Lake Michigan at the observer’s position to the Chicago Skyline = 59 miles (confirmed by the news story that ran it, as well as the photographer).

This would yield an expected horizon at 12.24 miles, beyond which we could not see past at sea level. Further, any object lower than 1,457 feet above sea level, at a distance of 59 miles, would be fully obstructed by the expected curvature of the earth.

A quick search of the tallest structures in the Chicago Skyline yields the following:

Chicago, the third-largest city in the United States, is home to 1,264 completed high-rises,[1] 107 of which stand taller than 500 feet (152 m). The tallest building in the city is the 108–story Willis Tower (formerly the Sears Tower), which rises 1,451 feet (442 m) in the Chicago Loop and was completed in 1974.

This, then, tells us that EVERY SINGLE building in the skyline should be obstructed by the supposed curvature of the earth, even if the camera/observer in the image is 100 feet above sea level.

Here is the video put together by Jordon Rains of the weather man who tries to get us to believe that this image is only possible due to a “Superior Mirage”.

Content not available.
Please allow cookies by clicking Accept on the banner


  1. Superior MiragesSuperior Mirages11-12-2015

    […] the last post, we have shown a view of the Chicago Skyline from 59 miles away.  While globeaholics have decided […]

  2. tinyurl.comtinyurl.com12-08-2015

    Hi! Would you mind if I share your blog with my myspace group?
    There’s a lot of folks that I think would really enjoy your content.

    Please let me know. Cheers

    • William GenskeWilliam Genske12-08-2015

      Hi there, feel free to share wherever you would like.

    • Flat HeadFlat Head12-14-2015

      Did you share this on your MySpace Group? Would like to check it out, the group, if I may! Thanks in advance! Kind Regards – Flat Head.

  3. Tommy ScottTommy Scott01-18-2017

    Here is an in-depth article explaining why it IS actually a superior mirage and the author even proves it by doing his own experiment with successive photographs from further and further distances.

    Clearly, the earth is not flat.

    • Flat HeadFlat Head01-18-2017

      Hi Tommy, thanks for your post. I will check your linked article and get back to you. I appreciate the feedback. Much respect and kindness to you..

    • Ashkan Sultan-QuerraiAshkan Sultan-Querrai03-22-2018

      I’m a big fan of AiG’s work, but his explanation is a bunch of mathematical hand waving that can’t be proved, and his experiment is bogus on its face. All his photos show is the hull of a ship shrinking along with the rest of ship as the ship moves away from the camera. The hull never disappears—it just gets smaller, along with the rest of the ship’s features. The lettering is no longer legible, but it’s still visible.

      This was a very disappointing piece from AiG.

  4. madmanwblueboxmadmanwbluebox07-18-2017

    the camera height was 800 feet above sea level if you bothered to research it

  5. RichardRichard08-03-2017

    I am now totally convinced. That the earth is an oblate spheroid. I want to know how you explain the various weather effects (Coriolos effect for instance) that are attributed to the fact that the earth is a rotating sphere.

  6. peacepeace10-04-2017

    Mirages are always in reverse

  7. John BakerJohn Baker05-18-2018

    you can go to you tube and see how the Coriolis effect is totally flawed and can be performed by any scam artist. i am totally convinced that the earth is flat. anyone that thinks this is a mirage should just let other people tell them what they’re seeing since they don’t trust their own eyesight. if you look closely you can also see beyond the skyline to other parts of the city. viewing city skyline sand mountains that are over 60 miles away is nothing new. There are reports of mountains in Antarctica that can be seen from 300 miles away. IT’S NOT A MIRAGE.

Leave a Reply

By continuing to use the site, you agree to the use of cookies. more information

The cookie settings on this website are set to "allow cookies" to give you the best browsing experience possible. If you continue to use this website without changing your cookie settings or you click "Accept" below then you are consenting to this.