At first glance it appears that a world first has been captured off the coast of Porthleven - a 'flying' container ship, apparently hovering over the water.

Closer inspection confirms, however, that in fact it is a stunning optical illusion that gives the impression of a hovering vessel.

In a rare state of conditions, the sea in the foreground of the picture is choppy, with waves, while further back out to sea where the ship is anchored the water is calm and mirror-flat.

This creates the illusion of the ship apparently sitting in the sky, with the horizon line placed along top of the choppy water.

This stunning image was captured by Rosie Patterson, who has posted it on the Porthleven Facebook page to rave reviews.

Commenters have described it as "crazy" and "totally mad" with one even questioning if the photo was real.

Another wrote: "Who needs Derren Brown when you have Rosie Patterson?"