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Crazy eyes

From an older article in Cosmos magazine:

A new study has shown that a bizarre deep-fish can rotate its eyes to look up through the totally transparent roof of its head in search of prey.

Though the barreleye fish, Macropinna microstoma, was discovered almost 70 years ago, most specimens were damaged when brought to the surface in nets.

The research from the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI), in California, is the first to show that the animal has a transparent fluid-filled sac in place of the roof its skull, and that it can rotate its tubular eyes to either look up or forwards through its head to focus on prey.

I was reminded of this article when talking with my collaborator Andrew while we were observing on Keck tonight. Andrew keeps an amazing little "memory book" in his wallet that he created to keep track of the crazy and sometimes useful facts that he has come across over the years. For example, there are 105 billion humans that have ever lived on Earth, and 6 pounds per square inch (PSI) is enough to topple most buildings. There is 140 g of potassium in a human body.

The fact that set us talking through many Keck/HIRES observations is that the eye has evolved 50 times independently over the history of the Earth. Hence, the weirdo pictured above...


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