As humans, we take for granted the fact that we can see and understand the world around us. But what about fish? Do they really not see the water they live in? To answer this question, let’s first think about how our eyes work.
We are able to see because of a combination of light and our eyeballs, which help focus the light onto our retinas. Fish lack these two components. Instead, they have specialized organs called lateral lines which detect vibrations in the water, as well as eyes, to sense light intensity changes.
This means that while fish cannot actually “see” the water around them as we can, they are still able to perceive it in other ways.
In this article, we’ll take a deeper dive into the science behind why fish cannot see water and explore some fascinating examples of how fish rely on other senses to survive in their aquatic environment.
Why fish cannot see water
It’s a common misconception that fish cannot see water. In fact, fish can see water just fine. However, their vision is limited by the fact that water is constantly moving and swirling around them.
This makes it difficult for fish to focus on anything for more than a few seconds at a time. Because of this, fish tend to rely on other senses, such as smell and touch, to navigate their underwater world.
Fish are often thought to be blind because they live in water, but this is not the case. Fish can see water just fine – it’s just that their eyes are adapted to work best underwater. In fact, fish have very good eyesight and can see a wide range of colors.
The downside to having such good vision is that fish are also very sensitive to light, which is why they tend to stay in darker areas of the water.
Fish vision vs human vision
When it comes to vision, fish and humans are very different. Humans have much better color vision than fish do.
We can also see things in three dimensions, while fish can only see in two dimensions. Additionally, our eyes are located on the front of our heads, giving us binocular vision.
This means that we can see things in depth and perceive movement more easily. Fish eyes are usually located on the sides of their heads, so they have a wider field of view but less depth perception.
All of these differences between human and fish vision mean that water appears very different to a fish than it does to us.
For one thing, because they can’t see colors as well as we can, underwater objects tend to look drab and muted to fish.
And since they don’t have binocular vision, they have a hard time perceiving depth and distance.
So even though we may see a clear distinction between the water’s surface and the sky above, a fish would just see one big blur.