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A couple of interesting visual phenomena


Skilled Investigator
I've noticed all my life (as have others
I've discussed this with) that when my
eyes are completely closed, the image
is not total jet black, even in total

Intstead, it's always been an almost
black background with irregular blobs
or "islands" which are very dark grey,
almost as dark as the background.

Well just now, I was standing in my
kitchen and closed my eyes for a
minute, and noticed that the back-
ground had changed to a dark brown
colour, with something approximating
a dark woodgrain pattern.

But what I found very unusual was
that when I moved my head up or down,
that "woodgrain pattern" background
relative to the external world.

As if I were eyes-open, seeing a wall
with a woodgrain pattern.

As I moved my head, the eyes-closed
background did NOT move with my head.
(With the near black pattern, that pattern
always moves with my head.)

I'm wide awake, not under any kind of
unusual influence (I don't drink, smoke or
use illegal drugs.)

This only lasted a few minutes and now
it's back to the usual near-black "blobs"

Really got my attention.

A second eyes-closed phenomenon I've
noticed over the years is when I'm in bed
but wide awake.

To save on hydro (Canadian for electric
power) I sleep in a tent inside my apart-
ment. This keeps nice and warm even
when I let the ambient temperature cool
way down (electrically heated apartment.)

This also makes it easy to nap or sleep
during daylight hours as it can be made
very dark. As a retiree, I do quite a bit
of that!

Anyway, when I'm lying on my back in
pitch darkness, in colder weather I
wear a wool knit cap for warmth.

Sometimes, I have the cap pulled down
over my eyes.

The visual background is the usual near-
black with dark grey blobs.

But what I've noticed is I can "see," with
fully real time shape and movement, in
dark grey, my arms, hands and fingers.

This "seeing" tracks my arm-hand-finger
position and movement precisely.

I don't recall noticing this as a young person,
but it happens all the time now.

One other lady at my church reported the
same thing.

Another attention-getter to me.

These phenomena make me wonder if our
vision is more sophisticated than is obvious.

-- Squirrel

Gene Steinberg

Forum Super Hero
Staff member
I'll assume it's not oncoming dementia :), so thanks for the observations.

For me, I wonder if, after having cataract surgery in both eyes earlier this year, leaving me with Alcon implants, how far my vision diverges from reality. Then again, I've needed some form of corrective lenses since I was 10 or 11. For the first time I don't.

FYI: Alcon was boasting, as of 2017, of having 100 million of these implanted. Wow!