Fun Eye Facts

Fun Eye Facts

The shark cornea has been used in eye surgery, since its cornea is similar to a human cornea
The number one cause of blindness in adults in the United States is diabetes
The eye of a human can distinguish 500 shades of the gray
The eyeball of a human weighs approximately 28 grams
The cornea is the only living tissue in the human body that does not contain any blood vessels

Sailors once thought that wearing a gold earring would improve their eyesight
All babies are color blind when they are born
Babies’ eyes do not produce tears until the baby is approximately six to eight weeks old
The most common injury caused by cosmetics is to the eye by a mascara wand
The highest recorded speed of a sneeze is 165 km per hour
The space between your eyebrows is called the Glabella
Your eyes blinks over 10,000,000 times a year
The giant squid has the largest eyeball on the face of the earth. At 18 inches across, it’s about the size of a beach ball
An ostrich eye is only two inches across, but it weighs more than its brain

A worm has no eyes at all
A chameleon’s eyes can look in different directions—at the same time
Each of our eyelashes has a “life span of approximately five months
Of all the muscles in our body, the eye muscles are the most active
An owl can see a mouse moving more than 150 feet away, with light no brighter than candlelight

Rescued Chile Miners‘ Futures Are So Bright, They Have to Wear Sunglasses.

It is a headline that captured the world, the 33 Chilean miners trapped underground for 69 days have finally been rescued thanks to a mammoth 22 hour operation by the Chilean authorities.

One of the aspects of the rescue that was vital to their health was the donation of Oakley sunglasses to protect their eyes upon emerging into the light.

Q: Why Were the Miners Wearing Sunglasses?

A: According to Dr. Andrew Hartwick, assistant professor at the College of Optometry at Ohio State University, after a history-making 69 days underground, the miners face a risk for possible light damage to the retina.

An AP article in which he’s quoted explains that “there is potential for solar retinopathy, in which the photoreceptors — the cells within the eye that capture light — can deteriorate.”

In the article, Dr. Hartwick goes on to explain that there is also a “comfort factor” to the miners wearing shades. “Just like when you walk out of a dark movie theater, it’s uncomfortable in the light,” he said. “It takes a few minutes for vision to return, and the retina needs to reset itself depending on light levels.”

Q: What’s the name of the Sunglasses?

A: Oakley Radar sunglasses

Lets hope that the sunglasses were of some help to the miners’ sight and that they all make a full recovery.

A tribe of water nomads, the Mokens, living in Myanmar and Thailand  are able to see clearly underwater! The Moken tribe harvests tiny brown clams, etc. from the ocean floor from among brown stones without the aid of goggles.

Studies revealed that the Moken children’s vision is similar to European children’s vision on land but twice as clear underwater; the eye structure between the two groups is similar. The clear vision is attributed to the ability of the Moken children to voluntarily control accommodation while diving, effectively making up for some of the lost corneal power. It is believed, through preliminary studies, that this is ability is trainable.

Also, Moken children also constrict their pupils more (to 1.96 mm) than European children constrict (only to 2.5 mm) which may contribute to the sharper underwater vision. This is the same idea as using a smaller aperture on a camera to obtain a sharper image.

Sir Harold Ridley, who was an ophthalmic surgeon in London, found that pilots came back from their missions with little pieces of perspex in their eye (shattered screens of the planes they were flying in), to which the eye did not seem to “object”: no inflammation of any significance was found in their eye. This material was modified and further developed into artificial lenses that are used in cataract operations today.

Onions contain a high amount of sulfur compounds.  When you slice them, it causes cells to break apart and the release of alliinase, a particular enzyme unique to onions (and garlic plants).  This enzyme reacts with sulfoxide amino acids to generate sulfenic acid, however this compound is highly unstable and will breakdown into propanethial-S oxide, a gas compound which then is dispersed into the immediate environment.

This gas wafts up slowly towards your eyes while you prepare the onions and upon contact with the tear film layer of your cornea, it reacts to produce a dilute solution of sulfuric acid.  Acid in your eyes = burning and stinging = crying.

In order to avoid the propanethial-S oxide compound from forming, you can force the gas to be formed into the sulfuric acid before dispersing by providing ample amounts of water while you slice the onion (ie. under a tap of running water, or in a basin).  Or you may choose to change the enzyme kinetics by freezing or chilling the onion to disable the alliinase and prevent the propanethial-S oxide from ever forming.

Iris recognition is a method used to verify a person’s identity, kind of like a fingerprint. Iris recognition has been featured in movies like Demolition Man, Minority Report and Angles and Demons , but did you know that researchers have developed the technology and that it is actually in use today?

Briefly, iris recognition is a process by which a photograph is taken of a person’s eye and the structure of the iris is compared pixel by pixel with an image on file. Matches have been shown to be extremely accurate using this technique.
Iris recognition is currently in use in several international airports for immigration purposes and also for “passwords” to log into a computer.

Scientists hope to use this technology for many things in the future including forensic and police applications as well as for entry into buildings and automobile ignitions!


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