When I was five I thought I could see through my hand

Orwell Diaries 2/24/39

Easy there, George:

Pretty heavy rain last night & this morning.

Found sprays of fennel, which evidently grows here. Saw very large slow-moving black & white birds, evidently of hawk tribe. Forgot to mention curious property of human shadows, noticed at Taddert. Sometimes one stands on a crag whose shadow is cast hundreds of feet below. If one stands on the edge of it, naturally one’s shadow is cast beyond that of the crag. But I notice that whereas the shadow of the rock is black & solid, that of the human body, or anything over about 50 feet, is faint & indistinct, like the shadow of a bush. At short distances this is not noticeable, but at long distances, say 200 feet & over, one seems to have almost no shadow at all. At certain distances the body as a whole has a sort of shadow, but, eg., the arm by itself none. I do not know whether this is because, relative to the rock, the human body is not opaque, or whether it is merely a question of size.

[Emphasis mine.]

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