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Under water vision (Without mask)

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dallasdiver

Well-Known Member
Feb 3, 2004
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I read an interesting article from Rodale's Scuba:

A recent study suggest that if you had spent your childhood diving for sea cucumbers, you might have a better chance of seeing if your mask came off. The research showed that children of a tribe of nomads in SouthEast Asia known as the Moken see twice as well underwater without mask or gogles as European children do.

The Moken live on boats, the children pitch in diving for sea cucumbers and shellfish, and spend so much time under water without masks that their brains become adept at correcting water-blurred vision by changing the shape of their lenses and constricting their pupils.

You can't rule out genetics, but peliminary data suggests that it's learned," says Anna Gilsen if Sweden's Lund University. " The data says that it is possible that your children could learn this as well.

For landlubbers over the age of 40, it's probably too late to learn the process, :( but a 25 year old could improve his vision with pratice. You can actually train more of your visual system more than you think," says Gilsen.

On the Discovery channel, I've seen people wear goggles that inverted their vision so that they saw everything upside down, and within 24 to 48 hours the brain adjusted their vision so that they saw right side up even with the goggles on. Also when people with crossed eyes have their eyes surgical corrected so that both pupil are looking straight, they have double vision for a few days until the brain has a chance to adjust. Alas, it too late for me, but maybe for some of you youngsters. :D
 

DeepThought

Freediving Sloth
Sep 8, 2002
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410
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I stayed a few weeks on an ilsand that some Moken settled on (and serve tourists there). They are also known as 'sea gypsies'.
In the past, they used to migrate on boats in the archipelagos, and settle for the wet season on some islands because sea conditions are rougher.
I didn't see them freediving, only boat fishing, but they were secluded from the campsite I was staying in, so I can't really tell.

Anyway, I used to open my eyes (actually, mostly my right eye for some strange reason) udnerwater ever since I remember, I'm not sure if I can see better underwater than a normal person...
I can find my mask if it tore off and floats near by, and I think I could pick sea cucumbers easly, but I don't think I could read, or see fine fishinglines. Maybe I could just read an analog clock, not sure about it though.

How good the moken's sight is supposed to be?

I guess that optics and not the brain is what eventually keeps us handicapped down there...
 

dallasdiver

Well-Known Member
Feb 3, 2004
346
94
68
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In the article I read it said that the children vision was estimated to be twice as good as other children underwater vision. Also stated in the article: Consticted pupils means better vision underwater. I'm no authority on this, but I am amazed by what brain can do. I suppose that if you continuely exposed your eyes to a underwater conditions, it might actually adapt to help see clearer. I know if I squint my eyes, I can see instantly better in the air. I don't know if this could be learned for underwater use though. Article and photo in Dec. 2003 page:29 Rodale's scuba
 

Poida

New Member
Feb 9, 2004
389
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It seems from what I have read that the brain is very good at adapting to suit different conditions.
Of course your brain continually makes you see things you don't actually see. Your eyes work like a movie camera except slower at about 14 frames a second. If your brain only let you see the photos your eyes take, anything moving across in front of you would strobe (a string of jerky images) so your brain fills in the bits in between. That is why a spoked wheel sometimes appears to go backwards. The eyes send a picture to the brain of a moving wheel and then another. Your brain fills in the bit in between but sometimes gets it backwards.

While we were on the subject of useless information I thought I'd put in my few cents worth.
 

MBanks

Martin
Feb 7, 2006
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Has anyone been watching the BBC program called Equator? In this weeks episode the guy travelled through Indonesia and met up with some "sea gypsies" and wet out diving with them. It was pretty interesting, just made me want to be in the water as always!

The program is available to watch online at the BBC website:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/programmes/equator/5264326.stm

Click on episode two.

Martin
 

Freediver81

The Arabian Stallion
Feb 5, 2004
992
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dallasdiver said:
I read an interesting article from Rodale's Scuba:

A recent study suggest that if you had spent your childhood diving for sea cucumbers, you might have a better chance of seeing if your mask came off. The research showed that children of a tribe of nomads in SouthEast Asia known as the Moken see twice as well underwater without mask or gogles as European children do.

The Moken live on boats, the children pitch in diving for sea cucumbers and shellfish, and spend so much time under water without masks that their brains become adept at correcting water-blurred vision by changing the shape of their lenses and constricting their pupils.

You can't rule out genetics, but peliminary data suggests that it's learned," says Anna Gilsen if Sweden's Lund University. " The data says that it is possible that your children could learn this as well.

For landlubbers over the age of 40, it's probably too late to learn the process, :( but a 25 year old could improve his vision with pratice. You can actually train more of your visual system more than you think," says Gilsen.

On the Discovery channel, I've seen people wear goggles that inverted their vision so that they saw everything upside down, and within 24 to 48 hours the brain adjusted their vision so that they saw right side up even with the goggles on. Also when people with crossed eyes have their eyes surgical corrected so that both pupil are looking straight, they have double vision for a few days until the brain has a chance to adjust. Alas, it too late for me, but maybe for some of you youngsters. :D


There was a program about this in Richard Bang's adventures on Yahoo! You can still watch it in the archive there!
 
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