(derived from an essay by the Dutch author Gerrit Krol 1987):
‘Hermann Ludwig von Helmholtz, a German physicist from the 19th century, was fascinated all of his life by the notion that the world is smaller than we believe it to be.
“Why”, thought Helmholtz, “don’t we say that the world is exactly as big as we see it. Well yes, maybe the world isn’t even any larger than our own body. Maybe there aren’t any distances at all. Someone does not seem to grow smaller by walking away from us, oh no, he does become smaller and therefore it seems as if he is walking away from us. And the same goes for him; his world remains just as big and it is we who in his eyes become smaller. And so there are as many worlds as there are persons, and animals, and all these worlds are similar in size.”