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9 Really Cool Facts About Eyes You’ve Never Heard Of Before

Monday, November 16, 2015 @ 05:11 PM
Author: Amit Mathur

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Eyes are some of the most complex, intricate and fascinating parts of the body. In fact, there are more than two million parts to the eye, which means after the brain, it’s the most complex and intricate organ in the body. We’ve compiled a list of interesting and strange facts about eyes, that we thought we would share with you.

Size.

Unlike some parts of your body, your eyes don’t grow as you age. This means, your eyes are essentially the same size when you are born, as when you’re a full-grown adult. And it has been proven that a fetus in its mother’s womb will start to develop its eyes only two weeks after conception takes place.

You can only see part of it.

On average, only one-sixth of your eye is actually exposed to the outside, the rest (the five-sixth) of your eye is safely being protected inside your head. Because the eye is such an intricate organ, with highly complex physiology, over time, the body has evolved to protect as much of it as possible. And since most of the functions of your eye happen where you can’t actually “see” it, your skull protects it from being damaged.

Blinking.

How many times do you blink? A lot. They say people blink an average of 17 times per minute; 1,020 times per hour; 24,480 times per day; 171,360 times per week. All the way to 9 million times per year. This also makes the eye the fastest muscle in the whole body, hence the expression, “In the blink of an eye.”

Tears.

Tears are a way for the eyes to defend themselves from foreign bodies such as microscopic items, dust, dirt, debris, bacteria and other such things that could potentially harm your eyes. However, you also produce tears when you’re sad. When you sneeze or have allergies, when you hurt yourself, and so on. Scientists have been able to prove that different tears are chemically different.

What you see.

In order for your eye to process what it sees, it has to translate the information. The way it does this is by turning the image upside down and dividing it in half, similar to cameras. Within a fraction of a second, your eyes, specifically your retinas, will rotate the image and piece it back together in order to send a proper “picture” back to your brain to let you know what you are seeing. This happens so quickly we never even realize it’s happening.

Red.

Although yellow, blue and red are considered primary colours, your eyes, again specifically your retinas, don’t actually see red. With the millions of receptions in your retinas, they are able to process blue-green and yellow-green colour-combinations, which means by process of elimination your brain is able to deduct that any other colour-combination will fall into the “red” category.

Red eyes in photos.

Raise your hand if you’ve ever looked at a photo of yourself and you had red eyes in the pic. We all have. Now with things like PhotoShop we can remove “red eye” but what causes it is actually the light from the flash reflecting the blood vessels at the back of your eye in a layer of tissue called the choroid. The choroid is found behind the retina and contains so many blood vessels (which are red from the blood) and when the flash gets reflected back, that’s what you end up seeing in the photograph.

Unique.

Fingerprints were once thought to be the only unique and distinguishing feature in a human. However the more we learn about eyes, the more we know that in fact the eyes are even more than fingerprints. Fingerprints have 40 unique characteristics while the eye has more than 256 unique characteristics within the iris (the coloured part of the eye). This is also why biometric eye scans are more secure than fingerprint scans.

Processing information.

Because of the rapid rate at which our eyes are processing information, we are constantly taking in and analyzing. Some scientists suggest that your eye can focus on 50 different objects per second. That can be as much as 3,000 objects per minute or 180,000 objects per hour. So just think of what you’ve actually seen (and noticed) that you didn’t even realize!

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