Eye on the Facts – 10 Incredible Things You Didn’t Know About Your Eyes

Posted on Friday 13th October 2017
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As optometrists we think that your eyes are the most miraculous creation on the planet.  Comprised of over two million working parts, eyes combine the ability to absorb light, focus and deconstruct colours to provide us with the extraordinary gift of vision, which is why we’ve dedicated our lives to looking after yours. 

But in addition to providing you with sight, your eyes are responsible for a wealth of information about human evolution, communication and brainpower.  So to whet your curiosity, here’s a quick rundown of Just4Specs’ favourite unexpected facts about your eyes… 

1.  Eyes Are 550 Million Years Old

And they began to evolve as tiny photoreceptor proteins in tiny single-celled creatures.  Thankfully this miraculous piece of ‘natural tech’ has developed a bit since then, resulting in the complex organs we see through today. 

2. Got blue eyes? You’re all related. 

Astonishingly, people with blue eyes are all descended from a single common ancestor born with a genetic mutation.  Thanks to research from the University of Copenhagen, it turns out that brown-eyed ancient humans thought that this anomalous blue-eyed specimen was rather attractive and the gene spread through the generations.

3. Eyes Require 65% of Your Brainpower

Your eyes are so demanding that they use up 65% of your brainpower.  This neuron-fuel helps facilitate 80% of our learning and memory-capacity, so by staying healthy and looking after your brain you’re effectively boosting your vision.

4. Dogs Look to Our Eyes 

Dogs have evolved to search for meaning and emotion in human eyes.  Our canine friends look to our eyes to understand communication cues and to gauge whether they’re in trouble for chewing up the new sofa… 

5. You Can See Over Ten Million Colours 

Incredible though it might seem, the human eye is so sensitive that it can detect over ten million different colours and distinguish between 500 (not 50) shades of gray.  Charcoal, slate, lead, cloudy sky, swans down… we challenge you to name them all. 

6. 98 Feet of Eye Lashes

Over the course of an average human life, you’ll shed the equivalent of 98 feet of eyelashes.  That’s a lot of batting power!

7. Eyeballs Stay the Same Size

One of the reasons why babies seem to have such big eyes is that from birth to death your eyeballs stay the same size.  Whereas your ears and nose will keep on growing…

8. Shark Eyes

Human corneas share so many characteristics with shark corneas that these fishy equivalents have been used in human eye surgery. 

9. 36,000 bits

It has been estimated that, in a single hour, your eyes process roughly 36,000 bits of information. 

10. Symbol of Spirituality and Wisdom

As ‘windows to the soul,’ the eye has long been considered an important symbol of spirituality and wisdom across many ancient human cultures, and a depiction is still used in rituals to ward off evil spirits.  

To protect these miraculous organs and your vision, make sure you get them checked by a qualified optometrist every two years.  And if you’re due a test, book a comprehensive eye test online with us today. 

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