Scientits Put 3D Glasses On Cuttlefish To Study Their Depth Perception

January 9, 2020

Because apparently some scientists haven't abandoned hope for developing x-ray vision glasses just yet *breathes sigh of relief* a group of researchers from the University of Minnesota operating at the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, Massachusetts briefly attached 3-D glasses to cuttlefish to study the animal's stereopsis (ability to distinguish depth using two eyes). Some more info while I repeatedly reach for and miss the Mountain Dew Code Red on my desk, eventually knocking it off and spilling it all over the carpet:

Cuttlefish have camera-type eyes, which have a cornea, lens, iris and retina. They have the ability to use stereopsis, which means they can discern distances because their brains can interpret the differences between signals coming from both eyes.


When the researchers ran the experiment with the cuttlefish wearing the glasses, they noticed the fish would adjust their position relative to the screen.

On a screen at the front of the cuttlefish tank, the researchers played video of shrimp, one of the species' favorite tasty snacks.

"It took a lot of coaxing of the cuttlefish to make them wear their glasses," Wardill said. "They'll want to play with it."

But when the little critters behaved, something magical happened.

The cuttlefish extended their tentacles and attacked the on-screen shrimp the same way they would if they saw their prey in the wild.

Granted I'm not sure what we were supposed to gather from all that, but I guess that we'll now be able to charge cuttlefish extra to see 3-D movies without feeling guilty about it because they actually will be able to enjoy them. Thanks, science! "That's not actually what this was ab--" I said thanks science, you can go now.

Keep going for a video of one of the experiments in action.

Thanks to Sam T and Draco Basileus, who agree they never would have dreamed this is what the future would look like, yet here we are.

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