Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Blue Field Entoptic Phenomenon - Blue Sky Sprites

I love looking at things that are right before my eyes and which I haven't seen for a while.  This morning I was watching "Blue-Sky Sprites" which are caused by the Blue Field Entoptic Phenomenon.  

In short, I was watching my own white blood cells as they traverse the capillaries in my eyes.  Pretty cool, eh?  Good news is you can do this, too.

Like most things that we 
usually fail to notice, these things are there in plain sight all along and you just have to go looking for them.  All I had to do in this case is look up to a blue sky for about three seconds and actually pay attention to what I saw before me - then these little white dots appeared, prancing and zapping about in strange patterns.

The explanation for this phenomenon is simply that the brain edits out the shadows caused by your capillaries in your eyes (so your vision doesn't look like you're looking through a fishing net), and whilst the red blood cells absorb the blue light from the sky, the white cells don't.  This means the red cells are invisible in the "shadow" of the capillaries whilst the white cells are there for you to see - if you actually pay attention to them.

I've often said that people just don't pay attention enough to what they see and hear, and this is one of those cases where most people you know have probably never seen this thing that is literally right before their eyes.