hafgerdingar
   Also known as hafgerdingar effect. Hafgerdingar is Norse for 'sea hedges' or 'sea fences'. The term denotes a circular *physical illusion depicting a giant wave similar to those occasionally reported in Polar sea regions. The term hafgerdingar stems from a 13th-century manuscript called the King's Mirror, which contains descriptions of Iceland, Ireland, and Greenland. For a long time it was believedthatinthismedievaltexttheterm hafgerdingar refers to a circular tidal wave or a single rogue wave occurring at open sea, caused by a submarine earthquake or a capsizing iceberg, and actually capable of putting a ship in grave peril. However, a re-examination of the hafgerdingar's original description indicates that the phenomenon in question may well have been a * superior mirage or *fata morgana. In the Polar region such physical illusions can appear to the observer as a huge wall of waves surrounding one's ship, with an apparent height of 30 m or more.
   References
   Lehn, W.H., Schroeder, I.I. (2003). Hafgerdingar: A mystery from the King's Mirror explained. Polar Record, 39,211-217.

Dictionary of Hallucinations. . 2010.

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  • hafgerdingar effect —    see hafgerdingar …   Dictionary of Hallucinations

  • fata morgana —    Fata morgana is Italian for mirage. The eponym is derived from Morgan le Fay, the name of King Arthur s half sister, a fairy and shape shifter who features in the Legend of the Grail.The term fata morgana is used to denote a complex type of… …   Dictionary of Hallucinations

  • superior mirage —    Also known as arctic mirage. Both terms are indebted to the French verb se mirer,which means to reflect or to be reflected. The designation superior refers to the position of the phenomenon relative to the horizon or a distant object. The… …   Dictionary of Hallucinations

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