Is there a word for something not feeling real but is real? When you go somewhere or see a picture of someplace and it feels as if it isn’t real and for a moment you are wondering if it’s just a dream and it’s just your imagination but really it is real it just looks so amazing for example the glowing water in the Maldives and the glowing water fall in Puerto Rico.


Puerto Rico




This is the picture from a Daily Mail article I am trying to say feels this way, I am talking about how the water looks and makes me feel like that:

Eerie: The blue glow lights up the beach at Penmon Point on Anglesey in North

This is not the only thing I mean I also mean just anything that feels that way.I would like to use it to describe the setting of a place saying that it feels unreal yet it is real, however I would like to say that without saying it like that.


2 Answers 2


I think "surreal" is the most common word to describe the feeling you're talking about, and Glubbdrubb gives us some other common options as well.

But just for fun, a really fancy word you could use that has similar meaning is phantasmagorical.

Per dictionary.com:

having a fantastic or deceptive appearance, as something in a dream or created by the imagination

This is a pretty uncommon word that you wouldn't hear in normal conversation, but you could use it very sparingly for particular literary effect.

  • Surreal is probably the better choice. You will hear surreal as often as it's needed. Phantasmagorical, however, is a very rare word. I would want to have a very good grasp of the language before using phantasmagorical.
    – EllieK
    Commented Sep 29, 2017 at 17:03
  • @EllieK Totally agree.
    – cjl750
    Commented Sep 29, 2017 at 18:19

Oddly enough, English used to have many words that came close to what you need. But their meanings were changed, diluted.

For example:


a: conceived or seemingly conceived by unrestrained fancy

b: so extreme as to challenge belief


too extraordinary and improbable to be believed

But I think PMV gave the best answer: Sureal:

marked by the intense irrational reality of a dream

Ref: merriam-webster.com

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