The lovely city of L’Aquila, which lies in central Italy, came to the attention of the world in 2009 when a massive earthquake severely devastated most of the community. But thankfully, a picture uploaded by Reddit user daenel is bringing L’Aquila some new exposure for a far more good purpose. Thousands of people have shared this local’s snapshot of an optical illusion turning water from a fountain into “fire,” with many speculating that it was Photoshopped.
We’re pleased to confirm that it is authentic. Despite living in L’Aquila, Daenel claims that he had never before witnessed this occurrence. In actuality, it was his small daughter who stopped to point and exclaim “fire” when she first noticed the illusion. Daenel only had a “cheap camera” to record the event, but he plans to return the next year at the same time to see if he can see the brilliant illusion once more.
Fontana Luminosa, which translates to “luminous fountain,” is the true name of the fountain. It is situated in the city’s historic district and was made in 1934 by sculptor Nicola D’Antino. The 2009 earthquake caused some damage to the fountain, however it was later rebuilt and started working properly again in 2016.
And while some individuals find it difficult to accept that the image is real, the illusion is undoubtedly conceivable. One well-known instance of the same optical illusion is the Yosemite Firefall. It’s easy to see why Daenel had never seen it before while living in the town because it is so uncommon. There are a number of conditions that must be met for the fiery illusion to materialize.
For the illusion to be successful, the sky must be entirely clear in addition to the Sun falling at the ideal location. Furthermore, as the illusion only exists for a brief period of time, someone must be present to capture it. Being in the right place at the right time was therefore crucial in Daenel’s instance.