The Norse merman as an optical phenomenon

@article{Lehn1981TheNM,
  title={The Norse merman as an optical phenomenon},
  author={Waldemar H. Lehn and Irmgard I. Schroeder},
  journal={Nature},
  year={1981},
  volume={289},
  pages={362-366}
}
Mediaeval Norse writings that describe the merman are considered accurate observations of a natural phenomenon. Images of common sea mammals, severely distorted by strong, non-uniform atmospheric refraction, fit the mediaeval descriptions remarkably well. Three examples are presented: computer-generated images of a killer whale and a walrus, and a photograph of a suitably distended boulder. The mediaeval correlation of a merman sighting with the advent of storms is also verified. 
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