I'll believe it when I see it...

One of the most interesting things I read about mirages was an article, "The Arctic Mirage and the Early North Atlantic" by H. L. Sawatzky and W. H. Lehn.

According to the article, arctic mirages might have inspired Erik the Red, the first Norseman to sail across the North Atlantic from Iceland to Greenland.

Pacific Ocean
Santa Monica, California
July, 1998

When I look out at the ocean, this is what I see: water. I don't see anything on the horizon that would make me believe that there is any land out there. If I was a 9th-century sailor living in Finland, and I looked out at the Atlantic and it looked like this, what would convince me to set sail in a rickety little boat?


Because of the curve of the earth, Greenland is not visible from Iceland. If Erik the Red couldn't see Greenland, how did he know it was there? How did he convince anyone to sail with him?


How could Eric the Red see around the earth?

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Is it a fake?

Why, do I wonder?

Eric the Red

Suspend your disbelief!

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