I've came across some photos in the internet, which were taken at Coolangatta. In this photos, it's possible to see the buildings from Surfer's Paradise(both of these places are located in Australia).

Since the maximum distance someone about 2 meters high can see from the sea level is approximately 5 km, how is it possible to see Surfer's Paradise from Colangatta, since the distance between them in a straight line is about 20 km?

PS: Here is an example of these photos

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    $\begingroup$ Not clear that light will travel in straight line in the optical environment of your picture, i.e. ther could be bending due to variable air density affecting index of refraction. The buildings look awefully big to be 20km away... $\endgroup$ Commented Apr 6, 2017 at 1:43
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    $\begingroup$ I'm thinking @ZeroTheHero is right. You can see some funny business going on especially since the buildings on the very far right look like they are floating. It is well known that you can still see the sun after it has gone under the horizon. This is probably the same thing. See this answer. $\endgroup$ Commented Apr 6, 2017 at 2:06
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    $\begingroup$ On top of possible optical effects you've misunderstood the statement about sight lines. The 5 km horizon is the surface of the water. By symmetry you could see another person standing at sea level 10 km away (consider a water skimming line of sight...), and you can see tall buildings much father than that. $\endgroup$ Commented Apr 6, 2017 at 2:51
  • $\begingroup$ @dmckee but woudn't they supposed to be below the horizon line due to earth's curvature? $\endgroup$ Commented Apr 6, 2017 at 11:41
  • $\begingroup$ Now I think I understood, thanks to the answer sent by @NowIGetToLearnWhatAHeadIs $\endgroup$ Commented Apr 6, 2017 at 11:54


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