human eyes

Human eyes are fascinating things. Image: rromer via Flickr CC.

No matter what you say, the dress is blue and black. Science will tell you so. You can’t argue with the facts, but the interpretations of the colors come down to the way our eyes function, and #dressgate did bring up some really interesting points about vision and the intricacies of perception. The eye is a powerful and complex organ and a gift. Here are some facts you likely didn’t know about human eyes:

  • Being nearsighted and farsighted depends on the length of your eye. People who are nearsighted have longer eyeballs while those who are farsighted have shorter ones. It all comes down to a millimeter of difference in size.
  • People with blue eyes all share a common ancestor. Researchers from the University of Copenhagen discovered that a genetic mutation thousands of years ago led to people to develop blue eyes.
  • There are actually people who can’t look people in the eyes because of fear. There are some people who can’t look someone in the eye or watch as someone touches an eyeball. You may be suffering from ommatophobia or the fear of eyes.
  • The ways our eyes are constructed cause us to perceive things upside down. But when our brain processes images, they become right side up. The process occurs so rapidly that we don’t even notice.
  • Believe it or not, your eyes can get sunburned but not in the same as what happens to your skin. It’s a prolonged process over time. Don’t’ apply sunscreen to your eyes, but consider that wearing sunglasses can definitely help.
  • We blink around 15-20 times per minute, which equates to about 28,000 times per day. There is research out there that suggests we blink to give our brain a breather, it’s a brief moment of relaxation for our minds.

Did I miss anything? What other interesting facts about eyes have you heard?