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Surprising Science

Shrimp DVD?

The mantis shrimp’s capability to see a wider color spectrum than a human’s could inspire a new generation of DVD player, scientists have found.

“Humans see three colors that, combined, allow us to enjoy the visible light spectrum. The mantis shrimp sees 12 colors, ranging into the near-ultraviolet to infrared parts of the spectrum. The creature can also distinguish different forms of polarized light. Scientists now say this sea shrimp’s remarkable eye could inspire a new generation of DVD and CD players. Mantis shrimp found on the Great Barrier Reef in Australia and have the most complex vision systems known to science. Special light-sensitive cells rotate the plane of the oscillations, or polarization, of a light wave as it travels through it. This allows the shrimps to convert linearly polarized light to circularly polarized light and vice versa,” writes Live Science.

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