Some say that beauty is in the eye of the beholder – or are they the windows to the soul? Either way, the eyes are filled with complex mechanisms that work together with the brain to help us see the world around us. They do more than just let you see your loved ones and the stunning scenery around you.
You must have so many questions about the eyes in your mind right now or perhaps you’re curious. If that is the case, read on to learn some fascinating psychological facts about eyes.
Top tip: you might also love these facts about the brain.
15 Psychological Facts About Eyes
From visual stimulus and light reflection to sensing another person’s body language, the eyes are one of our most important features. So, here are 15 facts to help you learn more about these sight-seeing organs.
1. Blue Eyes Aren’t Blue (Technically)
How can it be possible that blue eyes aren’t really blue?
Like the gorgeous blue color of the sky or the ocean, blue eyes appear blue based on the light’s reflection. So, no, blue eyes don’t have blue pigment in them.
The front layer of the eye, aka the stroma, has no pigment in it at all. The scattered fibers of the eye cause light to bounce off the eye in a certain way that reflects blue light, making the eyes seem blue.
2. Blue Eyes Are More Sensitive to Light
Remember how blue eyes lack pigment in the stroma? Well, this lack of pigment not only changes the color of the eye but also makes the eye more sensitive to light and more easily damaged by UV rays.
The lack of pigment makes the iris translucent, allowing more light rays to enter the eye. Over time, blue-eyed people become more susceptible to glare from light sources and increased sensitivity.
3. Your Eyes See the World Upside Down
It’s pretty fascinating how the eyes work. You usually look at something and take it at face value, but you might not have known that our brains work overtime to help us understand what we are looking at.
After each part of the eye works together through complex processes, an image is created in our brain. Light enters the eye through the cornea, passes through the iris (which controls how much light enters), and enters the pupil.
When light reaches the retina, your photoreceptor cells turn the light into electric signals that are carried to the brain. However, the curve of the human eye bends the light and creates an upside-down image in the retina.
So, why don’t we see it upside down? The brain decodes the signals through the optic nerve, making us see things the right way up.
4. Eyes Play an Important Role in Social Situations
Eyes don’t just help you see the world around you – they also play a crucial role in social interaction. Without your eyes, you wouldn’t be able to perceive body language or facial expressions, which are essential for socializing.
Your eyes help determine if someone is shy, happy, angry, or sad. The list goes on. Without visual cues in conversation, who knows how you might misread a situation or someone’s feelings?
5. The Eye Can Perceive Ten Million Different Colors
Sounds crazy, right? While this isn’t an exact number, scientists have estimated that the human eye can detect around ten million shades and colors in the world around us.
The human eye can see a visible spectrum between ultraviolet and red light, meaning everything in between is visible to the eye. Each color we see combines reds, blues, and greens in all sorts of combinations.
The cones and rods in our eyes, aka the cells responsible for light detection and response, are in the millions. Each rod and cone detects light at different rates and, as such, sees different colors.
So, remember that next time you’re wondering about rainbows and viewing them in all their glory.
6. The Shape of Your Eye Determines How Well You See
Some of you reading this might have been diagnosed with Myopia (nearsightedness) or Hyperopia (farsightedness). But did you know that this has to do with the shape of your eye? More specifically, the length.
People with nearsightedness have slightly longer eyeballs than normal eyes, so the light reflects just short of where it needs to be in the retina. Farsighted people have a slightly shorter eyeball, so light reflects behind the retina when looking at things up close.
This creates blurry images when looking far away (Myopia) and up close (Hyperopia).
7. Eye Muscles Are the Fastest in the Body
Do you ever think that you can flick your eyes from one object to the next so quickly? You have six extraocular muscles in each of your eyes that allow for this quick change in movement.
Not only are your eyes the fastest muscles in your body, but they are also some of the strongest and most complex. If you want to get really specific, the fastest muscle in the entire body is the orbicularis oculi.
You have one of these in each eye, and these are responsible for those sudden involuntary movements to protect the eye. For example, if an object touches it, your eye closes in less than 0.1 seconds.
8. Your Eyes Can Get Sunburned
You know how terrible sunburn can get – red, itchy skin that peels off after some time. It’s terribly uncomfortable, and your eyes aren’t exempt from the feeling.
The condition is called photokeratitis, which causes pain, sensitivity, and even swelling after too much exposure to the sun. Like sunburnt skin, the corneal epithelium of your eye can “peel off” if the condition is too severe.
Definitely not something to take lightly, so don’t forget those sunglasses.
You might enjoy reading my article on psychological facts about depression.
9. Crying is More Important for Eyes than You’d Think
Crying, as you may know, is an emotional response triggered by happiness, sadness, or anything in between. Often, after crying, you feel an emotional weight lifted off your shoulders, but tears do have other benefits.
Tears prevent your eyes from getting too dry and avoid several eye complications. These complications include corneal abrasion, eye infections, and corneal ulcers. Not only that, but tears help to remove any residue or foreign objects from the eye.
10. You Can Have Two Different Colored Eyes
Yes, some people are born with two different colored eyes. The condition is called heterochromia. The rare condition can be passed down through genetics or predispositions to eye syndromes and injury.
To top it off, there are different types of heterochromia; complete, central, and sectoral.
Complete heterochromia is where both eyes are a totally different color. Central is when the center of the eye is a different color to the outer eye (in both eyes). Sectoral is when a section of the iris (sort of like a slice of cake) is a different color from the rest of the iris.
11. Your Eyeballs Grow as You Age
You’ve undoubtedly heard the misconception that your eyeball stays the same size since birth. Well, that isn’t true at all. Your eyes actually grow in size quite rapidly in the first two years and stop growing in adulthood.
However, while the size of your eyes doesn’t change once you’re an adult, the shape can still shift, causing various eye conditions like Myopia or Hyperopia.
12. Blind People Can Have Visual Dreams (If They Weren’t Born Blind)
One of the most fascinating facts about dreams and vision is that blind people can still have dreams and see images. This is only the case if the person wasn’t born blind.
They can see images based on visual stimuli they have encountered prior to their blindness. However, those born with blindness do not see anything in their dreams.
You might want to read my article on psychological facts about Schizophrenia.
13. Eye Color at Birth Isn’t Set in Stone
If your baby was born with brilliant blue eyes, you might think their eyes will stay that way forever. Well, that isn’t always the case. Melanin and pigment in the eyes tend to develop over time, so babies don’t have the melanin built up yet.
Over time, the pigment develops, and your baby’s eyes might change color.
14. You Can Blink At Least 14,400 Times Per Day
While this number is an estimate and differs from person to person, overall, people are thought to blink between 14,400 and 28,000 times daily. The numbers vary, but that doesn’t change that we blink a lot.
Let’s say you’re awake for 16 hours of the day and asleep for the remaining 8 (in a perfect world). If you blink 15 times a minute for those 16 hours, that is 14,400 times per day, 100,800 times per week, and so on.
15. The Fear of Eyes is Called Ommetaphobia
You know arachnophobia, right? It’s the intense and extreme fear of spiders. Well, believe it or not, some people have this same extreme fear of eyes. It’s called Ommetaphobia, and it can be incredibly debilitating.
Individuals with Ommetaphobia often worry excessively about things being stuck in their eyes and fear wearing vision-correcting glasses or lenses. If you know any anxiety facts, you’ll understand how easily vision-related issues can trigger fear.
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At New Interesting Facts, we have an editorial policy and a 3 step review process to ensure we get our facts straight. However, we are a very small team, and we sometimes get it wrong, or information becomes outdated. Please let us know if you think we’ve gotten something wrong.