Why do horizontal reflecfions distort more than vertical reflections?


I work as a lifeguard, which leaves me a lot of time to think and stare at a pool. I’ve noticed that in the reflections of windows with horizontal and vertical lines, the horizontal lines are much more easily distorted and hidden by ripples than the vertical ones, which maintain their structure much better. Why is this?

In: 1

If the ripple’s wavefront is horizontal to you (which usually happens if you look at the ripple directly instead of looking at the wave from the side as it passes you by), it distorts image vertically (that is, the image at each point that you see come from image somewhere further away or nearer). The effect is that some parts are stretched out vertically, and some parts shrink, some parts get inverted, and some parts have multiple images. Both kind of lines are distorted, however, it just so happens that for vertical lines, if some part of the lines changed vertically, it still look like a line with the same width. While for horizontal line, if it shrinks enough the width is too small to notice.