The beauty and wonder of a squid's eyeball


23 Responses to “The beauty and wonder of a squid's eyeball”

  1. rebdav says:

    these cephalopods seem created in the image of something familiar…. Don’t those eyes look a bit like meatballs?

  2. Myriad says:

    At least the cephalopods got the wiring right, which was more than mammals could manage.

    • Camp Freddie says:

      #1 is right. Even if the eye doesn’t ‘prove’ evolution, it certainly proves that god is an idiot. Even the most incompetent video-camera designer wouldn’t put the wiring in front of the lens.

  3. WestTexas says:

    Did Seth Godin know this before he adopted this icon as his pet?

  4. Donald Petersen says:

    Convergent evolution? Or perhaps… Intelligent Design???

    ;^) Naw.

  5. Bill Beaty says:

    Here’s another weird one: Copilia, the crustacean with mechanical television eyes:

  6. Bill Beaty says:

    Evolution of eyes is straightforward, even obvious, once you’re aware of how simple converging lenses actually work. A light-sensitive spot can detect crude blurry images if that spot is down within a crater. If the crater’s edges close to form a pinhole camera, the image becomes sharp (yet dimmer, of course.) A curved blob of transparent material in the crater will allow the small pinhole to become wider, yet the image remains sharp. That’s the pinhole–> lens transition.

    I’ve found that many people reject the above because they have misconceptions about cameras/eyes, and this because they were taught their misconceptions by children’s science books which explain lenses incorrectly. While some books do get it right, many do not. A lens is basically a pinhole; it forms a sort of “wide pinhole” camera when placed in front of a retina or a piece of film. But with lenses, the “pinhole” can be large, yet rays from tiny points on the object are still steered to tiny points on the retina. See article linked in next comment.

  7. Bill Beaty says:

    For those of us who’ve always had trouble understanding the usual “evolution of the eye” explanation, take a look at my article below. Could your stumbling block be this bad ray diagram found widely in children’s science books?

    A widespread optics misconception

  8. Bill Beaty says:

    DOH, forgot this one below. Lots of good diagrams showing how eyes can repeatedly evolve.

    Google images: “evolution of the eye”

    Here’s something to try next time you’re in a swimming pool. Most of the lens power of human eyes comes *not* from the small internal lens, but instead from the cornea (from the curved air/water interface.) So, if you dunk your head in water, you remove most of the lens focussing power, and convert your eyes *almost* into pinhole cameras. The underwater view is about the same view you’d get if you remained out in the air, but used a wickedly sharp melon-baller to scoop away your curved cornea (while carefully preserving your iris and pupil.) Heh.

  9. Beelzebuddy says:

    My favorite strangely-evolved eyeball is the jumping spider’s. These freaky bastards have lenses, so usually they just get lumped into that category. But the thing is, their lenses are fixed to their carapace, while their retinas are mounted on muscles and are the things that actually move around inside the head. Furthermore, their retinas are basically one-dimensional, just a strip of photoreceptors with no lateral resolution at all, so the spiders have to scan their targets like god damn insectoid cylons. Cephalopods ain’t got nothing on these guys’ eyes.

  10. Anonymous says:

    @ beelzebuddy

    this quote from your link about jumping spiders will give me wonderful nightmares:

    “Because the retina is the darkest part of the eye and it moves around, you can sometimes look into the eye of a jumping spider and see it changing color. When it is darkest, you know the spider is looking straight at you, because then you are looking down into its retina. “

  11. Eric ESAD says:

    Eye think therefore Eye am. Here are some other freaky products of evolution:

    The reverse-aging hydra (and other observations):

    Mind Control Parasites (fact #5):

  12. teufelsdroch says:

    Feynman famously mentioned the squid’s eye as an example of convergent evolution.

    Although, as I read over this now, I don’t see the passage I remembered. Can anyone help?

  13. MrJM says:

    So Cthulhu created squid in his own image, in the image of Cthulhu he created him; male and female he created them. — Genexiz 1:27

  14. Ugly Canuck says:

    We know an awful lot about squid eyes, and their nervous systems too, and for a good reason.

    They have big eyes, and more importantly, big nerve cells. For info on why squid is used in research and the benefits gained therefrom:

    And now, a Canadian sings of those who jig the squid:

  15. mdh says:

    Similar destinations. Very different road maps.

    I see noodly appendages.

  16. alphagirl says:

    The eyes of the colossal squid (Mesonychoteuthis hamiltoni) are the largest in the animal kingdom, they are the size of beach balls.

  17. soulseeker says:

    Evolution is amazing, for me, life is more wonderful without a creator.

  18. skeletoncityrepeater says:

    I always thought that squid got their eyes from the bodies of drowned humans. This isn’t nearly as cool.

  19. HarveyBoing says:

    I think it’s important to point out that in spite of the similarities, the exact structures are still different in significant ways even for the cephalopods that have the most human-like eyes. The cephalopod lacks a cornea (in fact, the nautilus eye doesn’t even have a lens…the retina is exposed to the environment), has a convex (everted) retina, and is sensitive to the polarization of light.

  20. Anonymous says:

    If you want freaky eyes my friend you need a Mantis shrimp…

  21. WalterBillington says:

    Such a beautiful proof of evolution. No efficient god would do the same thing two ways. I heart squid. Although I steer clear of grumpy ol’ Humboldt.

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