Sight may be the most important of the five senses. When you enter a shadowy alley or can’t find the light switch in a dark attic, you immediately realize how important your eyes are.
Here are some weird things you didn’t know about your eyes:
The eyeball weighs about one ounce, the same weight as a slice of bread, walnut or standard envelope with three pieces of paper in it.
Eyelashes are touch-sensitive hairs that act like whiskers, warning the eye when an object is near. Eyelashes have growth cycles and shed frequently. If you gathered all the eyelashes you shed in a lifetime and lined them up end-to-end, they would stretch over 100 feet.
Tears are secreted to clean and lubricate the eye. They are made up of water, mucus and fat. Babies can’t produce tears until at least 2 months old.
You blink approximately 15,000 times a day – that’s 5,475,000 times a year. Blinking helps to wash tears over the eyeball, supplying it with oxygen. Blinking also acts as a wiper, clearing away debris. And if the eye detects something that is about to hit it, it will blink, bringing down the eyelid like a protective shield.
The tiny muscles that control the eye are some of the most powerful muscles in the body. Considering the task they perform, the muscles are 100 times stronger than they need to be.
Although surprisingly resilient, the eye is susceptible to damage in uncommon ways. Risk of glaucoma in men can be increased if neckties are worn too tight. And mascara wand applicators are responsible for more cosmetic injuries than any other product or device.
Eyes have enzymes in them that act as soldiers, fighting off pollutants and bacteria. Rubbing your eyes is bad for you, not good. It causes microscopic tears and spreads harmful microbes.
The cornea – the part that covers the iris and pupil – heals faster than any tissue in the body.
Some animal parts, because of their similarity to human parts, are used in surgery. Shark corneas can be used in human eye surgery because they have a similar design.
Men vs. women
Men and women have different eyes. Men are able to read fine print and distinguish small objects in the distance better than women. But they can also become colorblind, something that women are safe from (less than 0.05% of the female population is colorblind).
Your eyes are one of the most important organs in your body. Without moving any other part of your face, your eyes can express happiness, terror, delight, sadness and regret. Open the window to your soul.