Friday, September 4, 2009


You know when you flush the toilet and it just doesn't go down... Ok, not THAT type of floater. I'm referring to those little translucent amoeba-shaped things you see when you stare into a blank blue sky. Those are called floaters.

They're not actually in the sky, if you haven't figured it out already; they're in your eye. You can read all about then in the Wikipedia link above.

I remember as a kid I used to notice those things. I didn't know what they were called, so I couldn't look them up. I figured out pretty quickly that they were in my eye; when I moved my eyes the floaters moved as well. But I never knew what caused them. I had thought they were specks of dust that landed on my eye. Little did I know whey were actually suspended inside the fluid of my eyes.

I don't want to just spout off random facts I just read off the Wikipedia article, as you can go there and read them yourself. However, I did want to highlight this little fact:

Floaters are, in fact, visible only because they do not remain perfectly fixed within the eye. Although the blood vessels of the eye also obstruct light, they are invisible under normal circumstances because they are fixed in location relative to the retina, and the brain "tunes out" stabilized images due to neural adaptation.

- Wikipedia: Floaters

Couple all the blood vessels and fixed floaters with the blind spot right in front of your optic nerve, and any damage that might have been done to your retina, and you realize you're looking through a mess of crap. Your brain just kinda fills in the blanks, but may not know for sure what to fill them in with. It's no wounder why optical illusions and blind spot demonstrations work so well.


  1. So, how smart is our brain, do we see things as they actually are or are we completely off? I guess i don't really want to get in descussion about such impossible things, but it makes you second guess yourself sometimes. like, maybe my invisible friend that is incredibly shy IS a Figment of my Imagination. And maybe the voices are fake too!

  2. @ Oliphant: Well, I think it's little things that we miss or fill in. Seeing someone that isn't there is more of a hallucination or mental problem. If your friend is invisible (to yourself and others), then chances are your eyes are not to blame. If you hear voices, always do what the loudest one says!

  3. @ Michael Edson, MS, L.Ac.: Wow... That was so unexpectedly informative. I never know what kind of comment I'm going to get next.



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