50 Fascinating Finds: The Human Eye

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We bet you don’t think too much about your eyes. How do they function? Why are they coloured? What makes it easy for you see the world?

If you think about it, our peepers are quite complex and even more so, extremely fascinating. We’ve uncovered 50 interesting things about the human eye that might surprise you and leave you eye-spired!

  1. The human eye can detect 10 million colour hues although we basically only see 3 colours, red, green and blue (basic colours). White is the combination of all three, black is their lack, yellow, purple and mauve are seen from the combination of the basic colours which form to make secondary colours.
  2. Unlike insects the human eye can not detect ultraviolet light, we also can not detect infrared light – special glasses can be worn for humans to see both.
  3. Humans blink 1-2 times every 10 seconds, a blink lasts .3 seconds and if we total up all of our blinking time in the span of 12 hours we spend 25 minutes blinking.
  4. Babies don’t start actively blinking until 6 months
  5. The act of seeing and deciphering what our eyes area actually seeing in the world requires almost half of the brain’s function.
  6. The most common eye colour around the world…brown.
  7. There are many variations of brown eyes including light to very dark.
  8. Humans do not actually see with their eyes but rather the brain. Eyes act like cameras that send variations of light to the brain to decipher the image.
  9. Blinking happens less while reading or spending long periods of time in front of the computer which can eventually strain the eye over long periods of time.
  10. All babies are colour blind at birth.
  11. Your eyes won’t pop out if your head if you sneeze with your eyes open.
  12. The human eye can detect and distinguish between 500 shades of grey.
  13. Babies don’t produce tears until around 6 weeks old.
  14. Smoking can significantly reduce the ability to see at night.
  15. One of the most common surface eye injuries is poking the eye with a mascara wand.
  16. Eyes are the second most complex organ after the brain
  17. Colour blindness is more commonly found in males
  18. Due to the physics of how our eyes see light, we actually view things upside down, it is our brains that switch what we see the correct way.
  19. Eyes begin to form 2 weeks after a baby in conceived.
  20. Eyes do not grow, they are the same size from birth to death.
  21. Only 17% of the human eye is exposed
  22. Doctors have yet to do an eye transplant – with over 1 million nerve fibres that connect to the brain it is nearly impossible to replicate and reconstruct those connections.
  23. More distinctive than our fingerprints, the iris of the eye has 256 unique characteristics which is why retina scans are great for security purposes.
  24. Red eyes in photos should be called blood eyes – the camera flash is actually bouncing off the back of the eye – behind the retina which is rich in blood vessels hence the colour.
  25. If you have blue eyes, it is reported you are less tolerant of sun but more tolerant of alcohol.
  26. Blue eyed individuals also share an ancestor with all the other blue eye individuals in the world….the genetic mutation began some 6,000-10,000 years ago
  27. The human eye translated into a digital camera would be a 576 megapixel camera
  28. Your eyes can get sunburned, make sure to wear proper SUV protected eyewear.
  29. Good news, if well rested and taken care of, the eye can repair itself and heal in 48 hours.
  30. Our peripheral vision is very low resolution, it is almost only visible in black and white.
  31. Grey eyes are extremely rare and are experienced by individuals differently but is said to happen with the dominate colour falls between blue, brown and green, the combination gives a grey hue.
  32. In finland and iceland around 90% of individuals have light coloured eyes.
  33. Only 2% of the world’s population has green eyes and 3% have grey eyes
  34. Individuals with blue eyes make up 8% of the world’s population.
  35. The shade of blue in eyes is dependent on mineral deposits and light.
  36. Having hazel eyes is more rare than that of blue eyes, with only 5 – 8% of the world’s population reported has having the beautiful hue.
  37. Those with Hazel eyes are more sensitive to light than individuals with blue eyes and should wear strong UV protecting sunglasses.
  38. The eye colour you are born with isn’t necessarily the eye colour you will have for the rest of your life – eye colour matures while still an infant but can change after birth.
  39. There is a controversial surgery that can permanently change the colour of your eye – while highly expensive and dangerous it involves using an artificial iris, doctors warn against this as it can cause damage to the eye.
  40. Brown eyes are actually blue eye underneath.
  41. Research done in the Czech Republic concluded those with brown eyes were perceived as being more trustworthy than those with blue eyes.
  42. The eye is the fastest muscle in the body and the muscles around your eye are the most active.
  43. Our tears aren’t just water, they are made up of a combination of fat, mucous and water which prevents evaporation.
  44. Tears are extremely useful in killing bacteria. Mucous in the tear contains lysozyme which can kill 90 – 95% of bacteria.
  45. Research done has linked women with dark coloured eyes to experiencing more pain when giving birth compared to those with lighter coloured eyes as well, women with light-coloured eyes seemingly suffer less from anxiety, depression, negative thoughts and sleep disturbances.
  46. 2% of women who ‘suffer’ from an eye mutation called Tetrachromatic are able to see 100 million colours.
  47. It is thought that upwards of 16 genes influence eye colour in the human body.
  48. With the help of some anthropological evidence, research shows people with green eyes might have dated back to the early ages of mankind.
  49. A change in eye colour could be caused by Glaucoma, Horner’s syndrome or Fuch’s heterochromic iridocyclitis – and should visit their doctor if they notice such changes.
  50. Much like Huskies, humans can have two different eye colours – this is very rare and is called Heterochromia and scientists still aren’t 100% sure how or why this happens.
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