Mirror, Mirror, in the Eye . . .

on January 28, 2009

Have you ever heard of a brownsnout spookfish? It was first identified 120 years ago, but none had been found recently until last year. A scientist caught one off the coast of Tonga, a group of islands in the South Pacific Ocean.

The spookfish lives very deep in the ocean, as deep as 3,280 feet. What makes it an unusual fish is that it has a mirror in its eye! This mirror helps it take advantage of even the dimmest and briefest of light that shines into in the dark depths, helping it find food and also avoid being eaten. Scientist Julian Partridge, who conducted the research, said, “In nearly 500 million years of vertebrate evolution, and many thousands of vertebrate species living and dead, this is the only one known to have solved the fundamental optical problem faced by all eyes—how to make an image—using a mirror.”

The crystal plates that make up the mirror are described as “precise” and “perfect” for focusing the light to the retina. The evolution of this mirror would be an amazing feat for a fish, but it is an ingenious design when we acknowledge that it was created by an amazing God!