Question: How do halucinations work as well as mirages?

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  1. Hi Pnemono

    These are two very different things, one is in the real world, and the other all in your mind.

    Mirages are an optical phenomenon. Light is essentially bent due to differences in the atmosphere resulting in you seeing a distorted or inaccurate representation of what is actually there.

    If you go out onto a road (check for cars), if the road is hot, just near the road in the distance you should see what looks like water. This is because the heat coming off the road is shimmering back and forth, blurring the image.

    Inuit’s used mirages to navigate. The bending of light over the horizon allowed them to see a hundred kilometres or so into the distance.

    Hallucinations on the other hand are all in the mind in that you see something that isn’t actually there. As a kid when I was sick with a fever, I remember having hallucinations on a number of occasions.

    Hallucinations are not always visual and can affect the other senses, such as smell, hearing, sense of touch, even taste.

    These can happen for numerous reasons, sickness as mentioned, falling asleep is a common one, some diseases, of course drug induced, and my favourite – sensory deprivation.


  2. Hi Pneumo
    I have mild epilepsy that causes me to pass out if exposed to flashing lights for a long time. I am very aware that I am about to pass out because I hallucinate before it happens. It helps me realise something is wrong but doesn’t necessarily help when you come to again afterwards and realise you were asking an imaginary cat for help before you passed out 🙁



  1. are hallucinations linked with Schizophrenia?


    • In a sense as they suffer from imagined influences but they are called delusions. I’m not sure what the technical difference is but I believe there is one.