10 Insane Things About The Human Eye That You Definitely Didn't Know

by John Haltiwanger

February is going out with a bang. Between the llama chase and #TheDress, the Internet has completely lost its mind in the past 24 hours or so.

Look people, no matter what you say or think, the dress is blue and black. Science says so. You can't argue with the facts, but much of our interpretations of the colors comes down to the way our eyes function.

Indeed, the eye is a powerful and complex organ, and it's also quite a gift.

With that said, here are 10 amazing and crazy facts about the eye you probably didn't know.

1. Being nearsighted or farsighted depends on the length of your eye.

People who are nearsighted have longer eyeballs while those who are farsighted have shorter ones. This determines whether you are able to see things better if they are close to you or far away.

Amazingly, it all comes down to about a millimeter of difference in size. Not all of us are graced with 20/20 vision.

2. People with blue eyes all share a common ancestor.

Congrats blue-eyed people, you're all related!

Researchers from the University of Copenhagen discovered that a genetic mutation thousands of years ago led people to develop blue eyes. We all had brown eyes at first, but this change can be traced back to a single ancestor.

3. Some people actually have a fear of eyes.

Are you the type of person who can't look someone in the eye? Did your older brother torture you as a youngster by touching his eyeball?

Well, you might be suffering from ommatophobia, or the fear of eyes.

4. Your eyes actually see everything upside down, but your brain sorts it out.

The way our eyes are structured causes us to perceive everything as upside down.

When our brains process images, however, they become right-side up. This process occurs so rapidly that we don't even notice.

5. Your eyes can get sunburned too.

Believe it or not, your eyes can get sunburned, too, but it's not the same as what happens to your skin. It's a prolonged process that occurs over time.

This doesn't mean you should be applying sunscreen to your eyes (please, don't do that), but wearing sunglasses can definitely help.

6. Some blind people can still see in their dreams.

People who were born with sight but went blind later can still see things in their dreams. Yet people born blind don't see anything in their dreams because they have no concept of images.

Relatedly, people who are born blind also have nightmares more frequently than those born with the ability to see.

7. Stop blinking so much. We blink 28,000 times per day.

We blink around 15-20 times per minute, which equates to about 1,200 times per hour and around 28,000 times per day.

Some research suggests we blink to give the brain a breather; it's a very brief moment of relaxation for our minds.

8. Dogs understand us via our eyes.

Studies have shown that canines are adept at perceiving human communication signs and cues by following our eyes.

This is very similar to the way human babies comprehend and interpret what we're attempting to convey to them.

9. 20/20 vision isn't perfect vision, it's just normal.

The best recorded vision in history is 20/10. People with 20/10 vision can see objects from 20 feet away that normal people would need to stand 10 feet away from to see clearly.

10. The human eye can detect over 10 million different colors.

Yet, for some reason, we can't seem to agree on the color of that godforsaken dress.

Citations: 20 Things You Probably Didnt Know About Your Eyes (Huffington Post), What You Dont Know About Sunglasses Could Hurt You (Huffington Post), Experiments show we quickly adjust to seeing everything upside down (The Guardian ), Nervous system sight (BBC), Lesser known things about being blind (BBC), Why Do We Blink So Much Blinking Provides Mental Rest New Research Suggests (Huffington Post), Dogs Ability to Sense Communication Similar to Infants (ABC), Visual impairment and blindness (WHO), Is red the same to all creatures (CNN)