Mirages were frequent

“Mirages were frequent. Barrier-cliffs appeared all around us on the 29th, even in places where we knew there was deep water.”

“Bergs and pack are thrown up in the sky and distorted into the most fantastic shapes. They climb, trembling, upwards, spreading out into long lines at different levels, then contract and fall down, leaving nothing but an uncertain, wavering smudge which comes and goes. Presently the smudge swells and grows, taking shape until it presents the perfect inverted reflection of a berg on the horizon, the shadow hovering over the substance. More smudges appear at different points on the horizon. These spread out into long lines till they meet, and we are girdled by lines of shining snow-cliffs, laved at their bases by waters of illusion in which they appear to be faithfully reflected. So the shadows come and go silently, melting away finally as the sun declines to the west. We seem to be drifting helplessly in a strange world of unreality. It is reassuring to feel the ship beneath one’s feet and to look down at the familiar line of kennels and igloos on the solid floe.”

— Ernest Shackleton, South

About Ernest Shackleton

Polar Explorer. Leader of the Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition, 1914-1917.
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