Each animal species has different eye functions, including humans. Some animals see better at night, others detect movement at a heightened rate, and some animals are completely blind from birth.
The human eye is extraordinary. Some facts about the human eye might surprise you, and you might not think of the eye the same again once you learn these fun facts.
The retina doesn’t detect red
Scientists sometimes refer to the eye as seeing red, green and blue, just like RGB displays. However, the eye’s “red” receptor isn’t actually detecting red. It is instead detecting yellow-green. The brain interprets the different signals to tell you what is red even though the retina isn’t able to detect the color.
Images arrive at your eye upside-down, split in half and distorted
The brain plays an important role in your vision. Your retina actually captures the world upside down. Your brain flips the image for you naturally so that you're perceiving everything right side up. Plus, images start split in half and distorted as each one of your eyes perceives the world. Your brain then goes to work pairing the images together to give you one, clean panoramic view.
Peripheral vision is low-res and black and white
Your peripherals help you see the world outside your main area of focus. What you might not realize is that your peripherals are not all that clear and you’re seeing in black and white. The moment your vision shifts to focus on the item in question that your peripherals picked up originally, you’ll see that content in color and in high resolution, which is why you’ve probably never realized that it was black and white and low-res.
If you were born with sight and later become blind, you can still dream in images
Once again, your brain is a powerful part of your overall vision. Individuals who are born able to see and later lose their vision can still dream in images. That’s because the brain stores those images for you.
20/20 vision isn’t actually perfect vision
You’ve probably heard the phrase about seeing in 20/20 referring to seeing clearly. However, 20/20 vision isn’t necessarily perfect vision. All 20/20 means is that you can see 20 feet in front of you the same way an average person can.
Your eyes are nearly full-size at birth
When you’re born, your eyes are almost as large as they’ll be at full maturity. The surprising part is, newborn babies can only see about 15 inches away from them. It’s pretty astounding how those same eyes mature to see 20 feet away without growing much.
Your eyes are constantly in motion to ensure objects don’t fade from your vision
Even when you think your eyes are stagnant, they are making tiny jerking movements called "microsaccades.” Without these tiny movements, stagnant objects would disappear from your field of vision.
A very small portion of your eyeball is exposed
What you perceive to be your eyeball is actually only about 1/16 of its total composition. That’s because only a small portion of your eye is exposed to the outside world. The rest is set into the socket and does lots of the heavy lifting for the eye.
More than 1 million nerves connect the eye to the brain
Because the eye is entrusted with such a big job of communicating a great deal of information to the brain, it’s no big surprise that there are more than 1 million nerves attached to it. For this reason, scientists have not been able to complete successful eye transplants yet.
Originally, all eyes were brown
Blue eyes didn’t start showing up until about 6,000 years ago. That means that if you have blue eyes, you share a common ancestor with all blue-eyed people. Blue or green eyes are actually just eyes that lack pigment.
If the lens of your eye was a camera, it would be 576 megapixels
The lens on the human eye is much faster than that of a camera. When your eye sees objects at different distances away, your eyes autofocus at a speed cameras cannot even get close to.