10 Curious Facts Our Eyes Reveal About Our Biology

Eyes are a marvel of evolution, filled to the brim with interesting tidbits about how our bodies work. Consider these 10 curious facts.

1) Gender based vision differences.

We may have some insight into biological specialties of gender courtesy of a marked difference in how men and women see. Men struggle to discern similar colors as a general rule, where women find determining nuanced differences easier. On the other hand, men showed a marked superiority when identifying rapidly moving images.

Both groups also show differences in how they look at objects and people. Men tend to focus intently on a single point of interest, whereas women were more likely to shift their eyes to focus on various parts of a still image.

2) Trust and morphology.

Something bizarre happens when we look at people with various face shapes and iris colors, according to recent research. According to this research, men with blue eyes typically share narrower features, and men with brown eyes wider, solider facial features. When confronted with these combinations, the majority of test subjects trusted the brown-eyed men more. However, when looking at men with more atypically wide features matched to blue eyes, they found those men far more inherently trustworthy.

3) Risk of cataracts.

Bad news for those of you with darker eyes: for reasons we’re not quite sure of, you’re significantly more likely to experience cataracts as you age. Studies have found that even those with limited exposure to sunlight see increased cataract risks.

4) Common ancestry.

A research team of the University of Coppenhagen identified the root mutation which added blue-eyed individuals to the gene pool. Further research by other teams eventually came to a remarkable conclusion: it all started from a single common ancestor of all living blue-eyed individuals. This blue-eyed progenitor likely lived 6,000 to 10,000 years ago near the Baltic Sea.

5) Innervation without bloodflow.

Our corneas stand out as exceptions to the rules of our bodies, absent all blood vessels. Despite this, the cornea contains massive concentrations of nerve cells and maintains a high state of innervation.

6) Likelihood of Macular Degeneration.

Remember how dark-eyed people experience cataracts more frequently than their light-eyed brethren? When it comes to macular degeneration, the trend reverses. The reduced presence of melanin in lighter eyes means they’re less shielded against damage, resulting in greater deterioration over time.

7) Reaction times.

People with darker eyes tend to have faster reactions, according to several studies. Theories for why the difference exists cover a wide range of explanations, from differences in light sensitivity to theories about melanin content in the brain.

8) Nerve attachment blind spots.

Blind spots in each eye reveal an interesting hint at how our brains fool us. Where the ocular nerve attaches to each eye, we’re incapable of seeing—and yet without trial and error, you’ll never find those blind spots. Your brain fills in the gap, either using the other eye or by guessing based on surroundings.

9) The versatility of tears.

You can tell a lot about a person’s state of mind and health from their tears. It turns out that what seems like a single uniform substance, ‘tears’, actually includes quite the cocktail. Depending on why the tear is produced—sadness, moisture, anger—you’ll find a different chemical makeup. Emotional tears contain hormones, in fact, which are theorized to help ameliorate the chemical impacts of various emotions of the body.

10) Age.

As we age, the proteins of the eye naturally clump together, forming cataracts over time. On a long enough timeline, the hardening of the cornea and develop of cataracts becomes inevitable.

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