Thursday, 8 January 2009

Eyes are Everywhere

Two evenings ago I watched an episode of "Star Trek Voyager" called Gravity where Tuvok, Paris and the Doctor crash land on a planet. Time in that planet moves a lot faster than the rest of the universe. While they are stranded on the planet, they encounter a woman called Noss who has been stranded on the planet for quite some time. Noss is attracted to Tuvok but he rejects her triggering a memory of unrequited love.

In a flashback we see the young Tuvok speaking to a Vulcan master about his unrequited love for a woman. He is so overwhelmed by his feelings his parents insists that he spends time with the Master to learn how to suppress his emotions. While they are having a discussion, the Master tells Tuvok that he has eyes everywhere - in the past - which we can use to understand himself.

For a few seconds I fantasised about having eyes everywhere. Then I went back to watching the episode.

Long story short - Tuvok, Paris, the doctor, and Noss are eventually rescued from the planet. Tuvok makes it clear to Noss that while he respects her they can't develop their relationship. Besides, he is already married. Noss returns home to her own planet.

Fast forward two days, look what I found in today's Metro newspaper:

A creature has been found to have developed 'mirrors' to see in the dark.
The spookfish's eyes have evolved into two parts – one which sees upwards and another which reflects light from downwards.

The creature, which prowls the murky depths at 1,000m (3,200ft), uses the trick to spot food and save it from being eaten.

'This is the only vertebrate known to have solved the fundamental optical problem faced by all eyes – how to make an image using a mirror,' said Prof Julian Partridge, of the British and German research team.
Four-eyed fish develops 'mirrors' to see
This goes to show eyes are everywhere.


Related articles: You Heard Me Then?; Social Network; All Questions Have Their Answers

Science Daily article: Spookfish Uses Mirrors For Eyes