logo nautilus colore


Lithography from the booklet by anonymous author entitled Delle scoperte fatte nella luna del dottor Giovanni Herschel, translated from the 1836 French edition. The book contains a series of articles about the supposed discovery of life on the Moon, wrongly ascribed to Sir John Herschel, possibly the most famous astronomer of his time. Most likely, the author’s intent was to write a satirical text, but the most renowned scientific authorities of Europe fell for it and the articles became later known as “the great moon hoax”.

“The next view we obtained of them was still more favorable. It was on the borders of a little lake […]. We scientifically denominated them as Vespertilio-homo, or man-bat; and they are doubtless innocent and happy creatures.”