What do you picture when you think about pirates? Skull flags, buried treasure, parrots, the Jolly Roger, stolen gold, shiver me timbers, walk the plank and of course: Eye Patches! But why do all pirates seem to have the same eye injury resulting in a patch over one eye?

A Possible Answer

Pirate-6-15-300x294One main theory behind pirates wearing eye patches is based on keeping one eye always perfectly adjusted to darkness while boarding another ship to pillage below deck. Pirates needed the ability to suddenly spring into battle or ransack above and below deck, in both daylight and in darkness. With no handy flip the switch electric lighting below deck, it was pretty dark down below. Needing to move between sunlight and darkened situations quickly, it was discovered that an eye patch kept one eye always at the ready for extreme darkness. When dashing down below into the dark, the pirate flipped his eye patch up and was instantly able to see with his already dark adjusted eye. He did not need to waste any precious minutes waiting while his eyes adjusted to seeing in darkness.

Dark Adaptation of the Human Eye
Dark-adjusted-view-on-right-300x200Pirates may have been on to something not yet scientifically verified at the time. The human eye adapts quickly when you move from dark to light, but can take up to 30 minutes to reach peak proficiency when moving from light to dark. Amazingly, after this adjustment period your eyes become between ten thousand and one million times more sensitive than they are in full daylight.

You may have noticed this yourself. Try quickly turning out the lights in your room at night. Immediately you will find you can’t see individual details that well. Gradually you will begin to see the general outlines of furniture and objects. Soon your eyes become adapted enough to make your way around the dark room safely, as shapes and forms come into sharper focus.

What Does All of This Have to Do With Glow in the Dark?

You may be wondering what all of this has to do with glow in the dark products, and what it means for you, and life in the 21st Century, since your Pirate needs exist only during Halloween.
Midnight-Blue-Night1-300x200With glow in the dark objects, you also need to allow your eyes to adjust to darkness before “seeing” glow in full darkness. We often use the example of walking into a darkened movie theater where your eyes need a few moments to adjust before finding the way to your seats. With eyes fully adjusted to darkness, you are better able to perceive photoluminescent materials as they are purposefully intended, and enjoy the full effect of the bright glow!

You can easily add Lunabrite’s high performance glow in the dark accents from clothing and accessories to gardens and decks, or anywhere else that your imagination inspires you. To observe the maximum glow in the dark effect, just remember to let your eyes dark adjust for a few minutes, so that they can absorb the brilliant colors and illumination in contrast to the darkness around you.

Truth be told, landlubbers like us don’t really know for sure the real reason why pirates wore patches over one eye, or indeed how many of them actually did outside of Hollywood. But we do know that having our eyes fully adjusted to darkness will allow you see glow in the dark items in the best way possible!