Hot answers tagged

86

Batteries can be made quite small today, and batteries can be recharged wirelessly by magnetic resonance. So feasibly, the battery could be implanted in the temple near the eye and be recharged by putting a charger against the temple. It might also be possible to charge the eye simply with the light that enters it. If the battery is running low, just stare ...


72

I have painstakingly assembled a highly realistic relativistic raytracing 3d renderer and plausible geometry and position for nearby stars. Here's a render of the view to starboard: I'm sure you can appreciate the thousands of hours of compute time that went into this. Less facetious answer: Leaving aside the issues of whether there's any time for your ...


66

Let's start with a dose of reality I have "superior night vision" (hah), aka, super-light-sensitive eyes. As a teen I could read comfortably under a full moon and I can see comfortably at light levels that cause most people to trip over tree roots. My highlight was as a kid when rangers turned off the lights in some cave tour in Montana. I've been ...


58

Although I like the classic cyberpunk concept that states that nanomachines build a small turbine generator in one of your biggest veins (like the inferior vena cava), I understand you want something built into the eye... What about an enzymatic generator? It extracts energy from the sugars and fats of your body. You can make it tap into the bloodstream, ...


54

As a rule, evolution favors simplicity over complexity when additional complexity does not add anything useful. Creatures that live for many generations in environments without light (such as cave salamanders and fish) often lose their eyes entirely; one fewer structure to expend energy growing or sustaining, one fewer opening for parasites to invade. The ...


45

This a complicated answer because perception is created at multiple points in the optic chain starting with the lens (which is slightly colored and therefore actively filters out UV and purples) to the optic nerves (which are sensitive to three main peaks of the visible EM spectrum) and finally to the brain that perceives and translates the nerve impulses ...


45

Barreleyes, a.k.a. spook fish, have their eyes well inside their heads. They can see just fine, because their heads are transparent. Their eyes are the green structures you can see below: Such a configuration might be helpful in a hard vacuum.


42

Giant pupils. Humans are limited in how big our pupils can get because somewhere along the line, evolution selected individuals where the iris was small enough that you could see the whites of our eyes. Probably that gives some sort of cultural benefit as one can see where a person is looking, and maybe you will later feel fondness towards a baby you saw ...


33

Assuming that the ability to see into the UV spectrum is an additional, fourth elementary color, and that red, green, and blue vision remain unaffected, keeping this person's ability to see all of the colors that they can see now, in addition to seeing UV... It would be a whole new color. There really isn't much room in human understanding to comprehend ...


30

There certainly are benefits to having two eyes, as listed by Chris G in his answer: stereoscopic vision, redundancy, wide field of vision. Nonetheless it is not necessary for there to be any benefit of one eye over multiple eyes for a creature to evolve only one eye. Evolution occurs when natural variations among a population have a differential effect on ...


30

It's possible and the effects should be positive. It's possible to have two pupils in the same eye with each adding their own benefit. As linked by Renan, the four eyed fish has four pupils in two eyes (so it's a bit of a misnomer). The upper pupil of the eye is adapted for vision in air while the lower pupil for vision in water. That is, the refractive ...


27

On a ship traveling at exactly c, Victoria wouldn't have any time to see any stars -- for her, the ship would arrive at its destination instantaneously due to time dilation. Sorry for the slightly lame answer...


26

Grow you some extra-tough nictitating membranes... eyelids you can see through! You'll probably have to deploy them with a bit more ceremony than merely a sideways-blink... you might have to secrete some gloop around the edges to form a seal, wipe them dry with your paws to prevent any frost forming and interfering with your vision, that sort of thing, but ...


24

Air pollution can heavily limit visibility. Look at Beijing: in days where the smog is heavy visibility is very limited. Since you are setting your world in medieval time, have a lot of coal and wood to be burned. The resulting pollution of the atmosphere will do what you are asking for. Climate can also help: fog, lack of winds, thermal inversion can ...


24

sight is necessary to understand the cosmos If with sight you mean "capability of elaborating electromagnetic waves in the range of the visible spectrum", the statement is simply wrong. We have just got the report that the first image of a black hole event horizon was taken thanks to observation in the radio-frequencies. So, no, sight is not strictly ...


22

They'd go blind, very quickly A pupil that big allows very large amounts of light to enter the eye. In extremely low light conditions, this is a great adaptation since it permits the maximum amount of light to reach the retina. However, in any other lighting conditions, this is a huge disadvantage because it prevents the eye from managing how much light ...


22

There are four ways to mitigate bright light which both biology and photography are employing. Diaphragm (pupil). Your species can shrink their pupils to a very tiny size, filtering out as much light as necessary. In addition to that, their eye color should be black, otherwise the light bleeding from the iris would overwhelm the light coming through the ...


21

If it quacks like a duck... Have you heard of The Duck Test, or so called Duck Typing? The Duck Test is a type of abductive reasoning, and it works like this: If it looks like a duck, swims like a duck, and quacks like a duck, then it probably is a duck. ...in other words the appearance and behavior of something determines what we say it is. Now ...


21

If another being had a quadchromatic visual perception system or a true-wavelength perception system, would they perceive the same colors from our trichromatic screens? Of course not. Tetrachromacy is real, can occur in humans, and she indeed seen differently: In 2010, after 20 years of study of women with four types of cones (non-functional ...


20

The pupil appears dark (not red-orange as the back of the eye which can be seen with careful inspection techniques) because light goes in but doesn't come out; it is the same as an absorbing surface. The eye, like the velvet lining of a telescope tube, doesn't want un-absorbed light bouncing around causing glare and fog. Our cornea blocks UV, which is ...


20

Polycoria Not sure about how this would affect an alien, but in humans this is a medical condition with the following side effects: blurred vision in the affected eye poor, dim, or double vision in the affected eye oblong shape of one or all additional pupils issues with glare a bridge of iris tissue between the pupils Although, Pliny the elder wrote that ...


20

The extinct organisms known as Trilobites had compound eyes which had lenses made of calcite crystal. This hard mineral layer would protect the sensory cells underneath from exposure to space.


19

So we can actually use science to help us out with this fantasy concept, believe it or not. This is what I mean: vamipirism was initially inspired by a variety of illnesses, most notably a genetic blood disease (erythropoietic protoporphyria). Individuals with this disease are sensitive to light because MORE UV is being absorbed in to the skin, hence ...


19

Let me tell you about realistic dark vision My eyes are ultra sensitive to light. I can see clearly into shadows most people see as black. When I was younger, I could comfortably read a book by a full moon. Noon-day sun is INCREADIBLY PAINFUL. I've never owned a pair of sunglasses that were dark enough, but I have had folks making the glasses for me that ...


18

One key note is that you should never underestimate what the seeing impaired can infer with proper training. My mom for example is legally blind from toxoplasmosis; so, I'd imagine her vision is as bad if not worse than you are describing. Yet, she can beat most normally seeing people in a game of ping-pong despite not seeing the ball. People who only see ...


18

I can't have its eyes be similar to those of most animals and humans because they would boil in space That's not true. Regular eyes don't boil in space (vacuum). The whole boiling/blowing up thing is mostly Hollywood imagination. Humans and other animals can survive unprotected exposure to vacuum for minutes unharmed even though none evolved to this ...


17

Edited. - as per edit to the question. Assuming the Current model of the universe. Fore: nothing, because - Photons blue-shifted beyond the furthest reaches of the EM spectrum (way beyond human perception) as the Doppler shift would seem to predict - you would think. Aft: Nothing much, surely all would be shifted to the lowest conceivable frequency, the ...


16

Tl/Dr: There are thermal limits if you get too much better than what we can see. They make it impossible to see better, even with the fanciest of equipment. You may underestimate just how unbelievably pitch dark a cave is. Fortunately, we can do math. One of the first things a spelunker is taught to do in a cave is to turn out their light. You do this ...


16

"We need to see things in order to accomplish even the simplest task." is quickly debunked by even the briefest consideration of lives of blind scientists here on earth. Human's lack of natural ability to see x-rays has not diminished our capacity to detect, measure, utilize, and interact with x-rays. If a society develops to the point of being able to ...


15

There are a number of issues here. Resolution Ok, so let's say you create a new kind of cone that's sensitive to UV. Where are you going to put it? The retina is already jam-packed with cones, so you need to remove other cones to fit the new cones. So your guys can see UV, but their sensitivity to one or more other color channels gets worse. Now, if these ...


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