Shinkiro (蜃気楼 – Mirage)

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    Shinkiro

    蜃気楼


    When there is a density difference in the atmosphere, light could be significantly refracted. In such a case, you may see something that doesn’t exist, floating buildings, or upside down scenery.
    大気中で密度に差があると、光が大きく屈折し、実際には存在しないものが見えたり、物体が浮き上がったり逆さまに見えることがあります。

    This phenomenon is referred to as a “mirage” in English, whereas we call it shinkiro (蜃気楼).
    英語ではこの現象を “mirage” と言いますが、日本語えは「蜃気楼」と言います。

    Shin (蜃) of “shinkiro” means “big clam,” ki (気) means “breath,” and ro (楼) means “high buildings.”
    「蜃気楼」の「蜃」は大はまぐりを、「気」は息を、「楼」は楼閣、すなわち高い建物を意味します。

    In the past in China, people thought that non-existent high buildings were drawn by the breath of a big clam. Because of this, such the phenomenon has been called “shinkiro.”
    かつて、大はまぐりが息を吐いて楼閣を描いていたと考えられていたことから、「蜃気楼」と呼ばれるようになったそうです。

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