Seeing is believing. A common statement but if we followed it to the tee, there would be a lot of things in our world that we wouldn’t believe in. Simply because we can’t see them with the naked eye. From tiny organisms that live on us to black holes, to tricks that make our eyes and brain see things differently, there’s a lot we miss out on if we didn’t have devices like telescopes and even cameras, to help us explore our surroundings.
Looking at this strange object, you might think it’s some sort of artist rendition of stewie griffin’s head. After all, it has the right shape, what appears to be two eyes and the mouth. Alas, this is not a cartoon character but an extreme close up of a single-celled organism known as a Paramecium. With the aid of a microscope, you can see all the parts that make up this tiny organism which can be as small as 50 micrometers or 0.002 inches.
Ok, so the spokes on a car rim or the blades on a plane’s propeller can be seen just fine. However, spin those objects up to speed and our eyes not only can pick out the individual spokes and blades but even start to see the object turning in reverse. This is called the wagon wheel effect. Although we know the direction the object is spinning in, our eyes can’t see it and even report the opposite motion.
You’ve likely heard of black holes but have you ever seen one? In actuality, no one has ever actually seen a black hole. That’s because these outer space phenomena are made up of such extreme gravity that light can escape. Scientists can locate black holes by finding gas and dust which is sucked into them or even picking up strange gravitational fields. However, since light can’t even escape its pole, that means no light is emitted for our eyes to pick up. Strange but true.
Right now, as you watch and listen to this video, there are countless neurons in your brain busy at work, processing and transmitting massive amounts of information. You can’t see them because they are pretty small and well, you can’t look into your own brain right now. Looking like some sort of tree or mutant plant, it’s crazy to think that everything you do boils down to a chemical or electrical signal sent through these little fiber like structures.
For the vast majority of us, we spend everyday being bathed in cell phone radiation. We see the cell towers, see all the people on their phones, but never see the thing that links it all together. The low-energy radio waves are harmless and one hundred percent invisible and that’s probably a good thing. Artists and scientists even came together to show us what it might look like if we could see the radiation associated with cell networks. The results are interesting but we think it’s a good thing that we don’t have to actually deal with all that visual pollution.
Right now, you are crawling in all sorts of bugs and organisms and there’s nothing you can do about it. That’s right, if we had microscopic supersite, we’d be able to see the tiny demodex mites crawling around on each other’s faces. Like something out of a horror movie. These eight-legged creatures come out of your pores at night, mate and then return back to their homes when they’re not getting it on, they’re eating. What precisely? While scientists aren’t 100% sure, but let’s just be thankful it’s not our brains.
Looking at th,is you could be excused if you thought that it was some sort of a painting of a tree against a purple skyline. In actuality what you’re seeing is a nerve as it branches off in a thin piece of muscle. This occurs all over your body and is letting your brain know what’s going on. In this instance, the nerves help control the muscles by sending signals from the brain and returning information the other way.
If you’re ever feeling down just remind yourself that you started out life as a winner. That is, the sperm you came from beat out millions of others to fertilize an egg and bring you about. Yet, while we can actually see a human egg with the naked eye, it’s a different story about the little sperm. Although, this little guy is just about 0.05 millimeters in size, and can swim three millimeters in a minute. Sure that’s not Michael felt speed but the fact so much can come from such a tiny thing is pretty impressive.
Ever watch predator and wish you could see your prey or other people the way alien does? Well, you can but you need help. You see, what the predator is seeing is an infrared spectrum. That light is not a wavelength of visible to our naked eye, so we need help. Thermal imaging devices, like that used by the military and even the newest smartphone apps are allowing everyday people to see infrared light the way our favorite movie killers do. It turns out it can have a lot of uses that go beyond hunting Arnold Schwarzenegger.
We know this one is kind of out there but if you believe in spirits and love all those ghost hunting stories, then you know the human eye can have some limitations. Ghost hunters swear they can hear and even feel the presence of ghosts but we rarely have someone actually see one with the naked eye. This is where video cameras and special camera searching on the infrared and ultraviolet wavelengths come in. More than a few strange objects have popped up on such devices. Hopeful thinking and imagination or a real siting? We’ll let you be the judge.