Eye-opening facts about our peepers

I’ve learnt a heck of a lot about eyes in the past three years.  The only problem is, as with many things, the more I learn the more I realise there is to learn.  But anyway, I thought it would be fun to compile a little list of some of the more fascinating facts about our eyes…

  • Only one sixth of the human eyeball is exposed.
  • The human eye weighs approximately just under an ounce (28 grams).
  • Our eyes are composed of more than two million working parts.
  • Eyes are the second most complex organ in the human body, after the brain.
  • Our eyes actually project an image onto our retina which is upside down and inverted, and our brain then flips the image.  George Stratton, an American psychologist, conducted an experiment whereby he wore an adapted lens which meant that everything he saw appeared to be inverted and upside down.  After a few days, his brain adapted and he began to see things the right way up once more.
  • The active ingredient of dilation drops is atropine, derived from Deadly Nightshade.  I told my sister this just before one of my eye appointments, and she looked at me with such horror that I felt it necessary to check with the consultant that it’s okay to keep having my eyes dilated.  Fortunately, he said it’s fine…
  • Approximately 50% of the brain is used for seeing and vision.
  • 80% of our memories are determined by what we see.
  • According to research by RNIB, 44% of UK adults said they feared losing their sight more than any long-term health condition, including Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, heart disease, and having to use a wheelchair.
  • People generally read text on screen 25 times more slowly than on paper.
  • On average, we blink around 28,000 times per day, and 15-20 times per minute, unless staring at a computer screen, in which case we don’t blink enough.  Now you’re making a conscious effort to blink more as you read this, aren’t you?  🙂
  • 20/20 (or 6/6) vision isn’t ‘perfect vision’ as is often assumed – it’s just normal vision.  However, in my book, there isn’t anything ‘just’ about normal vision…
  • People who were born with sight but later went blind can still see in their dreams, whereas people who were born blind don’t see images in their dreams.  (I feel I need to check this with someone who’s been blind from birth…)
  • Forget 50 shades… the human eye can distinguish 500 shades of grey.
  • Mascacra wands cause the most cosmetics-related eye injuries.  (Maybe that’s why I cringe whenever I see someone applying eye makeup.)
  • One eyelash has an approximate lifespan of five months.
  • The word ‘pupil’ is derived from the Latin ‘pupillus/pupilla’, meaning a little child or doll, as a description of the tiny reflection of your own image which you see when looking into someone’s eye.
  • Don’t share the above facts with someone who suffers from ommatophobia (fear of eyes).  I haven’t yet found a word which means ‘fear of retinal detachment’, but I know a lot of people who have this, so perhaps we should invent one?  Suggestions via the comments below, please!  😉
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4 thoughts on “Eye-opening facts about our peepers

  1. dtw42

    Hm, the only eye fact I have (relates to your ommatophobia, I guess) is that “ommatidia” are the individual facets of an insect’s compound eye. Not very useful, sorry.

    Fear of retinal detachment … er … retinoaposyndesiphobia?! :-/

    (Stupid thing about online translation software is that as soon as you feed it the word ‘detachment’ it thinks you mean ‘[of troops]’ and gives you a synonym for secondment … so you have to feed it something like ‘disconnection’ instead…)

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. ejb117 Post author

      Oooo, I didn’t know about ‘ommatidia’! Could be useful in a quiz!

      Hmmm, ‘retinoaposyndesiphobia’… 😮 So does ‘aposyndesia’ mean disconnection then? Is there online software for making up new words? 😁

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      Reply
      1. dtw42

        Knowing the internet, there probably is somewhere. No, I was just plugging words into Google translate (to Greek, since that’s the language ‘phobia’ comes from) and pulling out plausible stems from the results and smooshing them together. It gives “aposýndesi” for disconnection.

        Liked by 1 person

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