According to NASA, the photo is not fake and the photographer saw this unusual sun rise with his own eyes, indicating that this effect was caused by neither reflections nor distortions in the camera or lens.
It’s the stuff of nightmares, but this spectacular sunrise really does look like the sun is exploding.
Fortunately this amazing image captures some form of optical illusion, although nobody can say for sure exactly what is happening to make the sun look the way it does.
The most likely explanation is that the light has been distorted by a few clouds passing in front of the sun.
Photographer Luis Argerich, 37, took the image while overlooking the Rio de la Plata – or River Plate – in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
At 150miles across, it is the world’s widest river and forms part of the border between Uruguay and Argentina.
Mr Argerich had been taking pictures of the sunrise over several mornings when he caught this one.
The college teacher said: ‘I was photographing sunrises morning after morning, collecting atmospheric phenomena and mainly looking for green flashes.
‘In this particular photo a cloud or something produced a very strange distortion resulting in a sunrise I had never seen before.
‘The little waves or spikes you can see at the horizon are not real, they are distortions and indicate that conditions are favourable for some optic effects like the green flash, an omega-shaped sunrise or this.’
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