Built for Blurs: Jellyfish have great eyes that can't focus

11:24am, May 11, 2005

Eight of the eyes on a box jellyfish have surprisingly good lenses, yet the structure of the eyes keeps them from focusing sharply, according to a new optics study.

Sharp focus may be what people and most other vertebrates want out of their lenses, but box jellyfish thrive with fine lenses and a blurry, wide picture, say Dan E. Nilsson of Lund University in Sweden and his colleagues in the May 12 Nature.

"Box jellyfish may teach us something about how the first lenses in eyes appeared," Nilsson says.

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