Mer de Noms is the first studio album by the alternative rock band A Perfect Circle. The album was released on May 23, 2000, and certified platinum by the RIAA on October 31, 2000. The album entered The Billboard 200 at No. 4 with 188,000 copies sold.
Most of the album's lyrics were dedicated to various people that lead singer Maynard James Keenan knew. The title of the album is French for "sea of names". The track listing consists of various names such as Judith, Breña, Rose, Thomas, Magdalena, Orestes, and Renholdër (for musician Danny Lohner). Some people consider this a possible motif for the album.
The sigils on the front cover of the album can be translated to "La Cascade Des Prenoms", which translated to English means, "The waterfall of first names."
Inside the insert the track names appear to be randomly spelled out in symbols. The symbols can be seen in the background of the front cover. One way to decipher the symbols is to match the song titles using the normal alphabet with the song titles inside the insert.
The symbols which have popularly become known online as “APC Text,” “Mayan,” or “Elegant Mayan,” have become surprisingly widespread, appearing in tattoos, computer fonts, and independent artwork. The following is a key for ciphering and deciphering the symbols.
Inside the insert there are twelve pictures (one for each song) and next to each one a song title, and beneath that a portion of the song's lyrics all written out in the symbols shown above. An example of this would be the drawing of the red octopus, which has the song name "Orestes" and "Sever this umbilical residue" beneath it.