Let’s have an ‘eye-to-eye’ conversation today. Did you know your eyes can distinguish about 10 million different colours? That your pet dog can comprehend your cue just by looking at your eyes? And, your eyes grow considerably in your first two years of life and reach their full size by adulthood?
Pretty eye-opening facts, aren’t they? That’s not all! Take a peek at these eight extremely interesting facts about your eyes and discover some amazing insights about one of the most sensitive and important parts of your body.
Your eyes are entrusted with one of the most important tasks of communicating a great deal of information to your brain. Hence, it is no big surprise that more than a million nerves are attached to it. The optic nerves which connect the back of each eye (your retina) to your brain have more than a million nerve fibres to carry visual messages. Hence, it gets super difficult for surgeons to carry out a complete eye transplant. (Psst… when you hear someone say they are getting an ‘eye transplant,’ they mean they are only receiving a donor cornea, which is the clear front part that helps focus light and allows you to see things.)
Newborn babies have blurry vision for the first four months and they peer at you through fuzzy eyes. They can focus best in low lights and at objects between 8 and 10 inches away from their face. That’s just one reason why babies smile at you when you hold them closer.
Yes! We all have blind spots in our eyes. It is as tiny as the size of a pinhead. The optic nerve passing through this tiny area in your retina doesn’t have any photoreceptors. Since there are no receptor cells detecting lights, it creates a tiny blind spot.
Do you want to know how you can find your blind spot? Watch this video.
According to a rough estimate by scientists, human eyes can see and distinguish up to 30 hues of the colour grey (although some of you might be blessed with the ability to see more shades!)
The light-and-dark detecting rod cells in your eyes’ retina help you see this astounding range of greys.
You will be surprised to learn how the brain plays an important role in the way you perceive your surroundings. Your retina actually captures the world upside down. Just like how a pinhole camera captures a 2D image, light from an external source enters your pupil to form an upside-down image on your retina. Your retina then captures the protons of light and responds by firing neural impulses in the optic nerve. The brain uses those electrical impulses to flip images naturally and help you see everything right-side-up and in 3D. Ours eyes can perceive depth and can tell which object is farther away and which one is closer to us. It is the same principle behind how 3d glasses work.
How swiftly can you look LEFT, RIGHT, UP and DOWN? Your eyes are the fastest moving muscles (hence, the phrase, ‘in the blink of an eye!’)
The way you quickly move your eyes in all directions is supported by the extraocular muscles in your eyes. You have six of these muscles in each of your eyes, and most of the motions they make are involuntary. For instance, these muscles let you flick your eyes to one side and notice something in your peripheral vision without needing to turn your head.
While newborns try to focus on objects for the first four months, they take more time to understand and appreciate all the colours of life. Several studies have already shown how newborn babies can identify white, black and shades of grey. Debates are on regarding babies’ abilities to detect red objects against a grey backdrop. The reason why they can’t see more colours is because the cones in their eyes—the photoreceptor cells responsible for picking up colours—are too weak to detect them. They gradually develop these cells and begin to identify objects and shapes in different colours.
One of the rarest phobias, ommetaphobia is the fear of eyes! Someone suffering from this condition can expect to experience a high amount of fear just by thinking about eyes, let alone seeing an eye. This kind of phobia is also often related to fear of injuring one’s eyes.
Do you know any other interesting facts about human eyes? Do share them with us in the comments below.
Books are Tanaya Goswami’s first love and cheesecakes come a close second. Talking about movies, music, calligraphy, politics, and Elon Musk will get you listed under the friends’ section of her diary. Ever since moving on from her job as an English lecturer, she spends her time at BYJU’S crafting stories filled with emotion and sprinkled with sarcasm. Outside of work, she’s either learning something new (French, most recently!) or is curled up with a book and a cup of coffee. She firmly believes that discovering what you don’t know is the key to knowledge and is constantly working towards improving herself. Drop in a line at email@example.com if you liked her stories, have something nice to say, or if you have compelling ideas to share!
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