So How do Insects Really See the World?

June 14, 2016 | Posted In: General

Is it true that some insects, such as flies, see the world like we humans see the world when we look through a kaleidoscope?  It turns out that this is a myth.  Insect vision is often depicted as “kaleidoscope vision” in movies.  In reality insects see only one single object if there is only one single object in view. However, it is indeed true that insects see the world quite differently than we humans see the world.

The myth mentioned above was likely started because many insects do have multiple lenses.  In fact, some bugs have as many as 30,000 lenses, but these lenses accept and process light in a visual center in their brain in much the same way as we process the objects in our line of vision.  But, unlike human vision, insects see objects as being pixelated.  Although it is hard for us to imagine navigating the world with pixelated vision, insect eyes are built to detect movement, which is why flies and other annoying buzzers are so hard to swat.

How did you imagine insects viewed the world? How have the movies that you’ve seen depicted insect sight?