Date: Fri Aug 25 00:26:17 EDT 2000
Subject: A.Word.A.Day--fata morgana
fata morgana (fata mor-GAH-nuh) noun

An optical phenomenon that creates the illusion of water, often with
inverted reflections of distant objects, and results from distortion of
light by alternate layers of hot and cool air. Also called mirage.

[Italian, mirage, Morgan le Fay (from the belief that the mirage was caused by her witchcraft) : fata, fairy (from Vulgar Latin fata, goddess of fate) + Morgana, Morgan, probably from Old Irish Morrigain.]