There’s more to vision than just looking at stuff. The gift of sight is a complex marvel of mysteries and incredible feats, from colors only certain people can see to color nobody can see, the remarkable adaptations of the deaf to the dreams of the colorblind. These are just some of the things that make the window of the soul worth gazing into.

10. Blue-Eyed Chinese

1   Photo credit: ADG

A Chinese boy with sky-blue eyes can allegedly see and write in pitch darkness. According to Nong Yousui’s teachers and the reporters who tested him, he can complete a questionnaire in the dark, and when examined by a flashlight, his eyes flare a luminous green. At night, a cat’s eyes reflect light in the same way. This made some believe that Nong was born with an incredible mutation: acute night vision never before seen in humans.

If he truly has feline eyes, the flash effect should show up on video—which it doesn’t. Also, scientists dismiss the very idea. Any mutation of this caliber doesn’t happen overnight. Though Nong’s uncanny ability is plausible if his eyes have extra light receptors, the whole thing could also be fake. Either way, given his race, the blue eyes remain mesmerizing—something scientists believe could be a form of albinism.

9. Seeing Stars

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Whether you’re seeing stars, flashes, experiencing visual disturbances from migraines, or a light show after rubbing the eyelids, it’s all caused by the same thing: pressure or stimulation of the retina.

The eyeball is filled with a thick gelatinous fluid that keeps the eye round. Sometimes this gel can press against the retina and its center responsible for creating pictures in the brain. It can happen when the eyes are rubbed vigorously, a powerful sneeze shakes the retina or stimulates the optic nerve, or even when a person stands up too fast. The latter occurs when dropping blood pressure and the oxygen-deprived brain affects the sight parts of the eye. Any message from the retina gets interpreted by the brain as light, whether there is actual light involved or not.

8. The Gender Difference

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Men and women look at things differently. Together, both will see the same movie, but men will be more sensitive to smaller details and movement. Women will be more aware of different color hues and how they change.

During a conversation, the sexes also focus differently. Men are more likely to watch the other person’s lips while they’re talking and will be more easily distracted by movement behind the speaker. When women listen to someone talk, they tend to alternate their gaze between their companion’s eyes and body. Other people, rather than movement, are more likely to divide their visual attention.

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