SCIENCE

These Macro Photos Reveal The Awesome Diversity Of Human Eyes

What do you see when you look into your own eye?

It sees. It cries. It helps us communicate. Yes, the human eye is one outstanding organ. But what do you see when you look into someone’s eyes?

Most of us focus on their color. But give a really close look and you’ll see at once that our irises (that’s the colored part) come in countless shades and patterns. What’s more, you’ll observe that eyes differ in ways beyond color--from their size and shape to the appearance of the lids to the color and fullness of the lashes.

And, of course, our eyes are constantly changing. We open them wide. We squint. We look left. We look right. Up. Down. In darkness our pupils dilate to let in more light, in light they constrict to keep light out.

Yes, our eyes are pretty complicated. And like each of us they are beautifully unique. Just have a look at the 27 stunning close-up photos (below) shot by our resident photographer, Damon Dahlen. Each shows the eye of a man or woman on The Huffington Post editorial staff, and each is accompanied by its owner’s answer to a simple question: What do you see when you look into your eye?

<strong><span>&nbsp;I see the ocean!&nbsp;</span></strong>
 I see the ocean! 
<strong><span>When I look into my eye, I no longer see my own eye, but instead the eye of the Mother.</span></strong>
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When I look into my eye, I no longer see my own eye, but instead the eye of the Mother.  
<strong><span>Looking into my eye I am reminded by the existence of myself, my surroundings and others, who are not merely an
Looking into my eye I am reminded by the existence of myself, my surroundings and others, who are not merely an extension of my own existence but their own complete, disparate entities. Looking into my eye I am met with the reflection of my determination to be able to look out of that eye and deconstruct and challenge everything it sees.  
<strong><span>When I look in my eye I see lots of yellow and green specks and then I start to wonder if I'm actually a cat. T
When I look in my eye I see lots of yellow and green specks and then I start to wonder if I'm actually a cat. That would be neat. Nine lives baby!  
<strong><span>I see a reflection of my skin, a rich dark brown, which comes feeling of self-acceptance of having a dark skin
I see a reflection of my skin, a rich dark brown, which comes feeling of self-acceptance of having a dark skin tone.  
<strong><span>From the edges, I see dark green turning into light green. As it gets closer to the center, the green mash with
From the edges, I see dark green turning into light green. As it gets closer to the center, the green mash with the brown around my pupil. It's really cool. I like it.  
<strong><span>I see galaxies.</span></strong>
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I see galaxies.  
<strong><span>Possibility and variety. To most people my eyes may be green, but if you really look closely there's much more
Possibility and variety. To most people my eyes may be green, but if you really look closely there's much more than that. And that's an accurate view of my colorful personality.  
<strong><span>The longer I look at it, the more stoned I feel. WHAT ARE EYES AND HOW DID THIS HAPPEN.</span></strong>
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The longer I look at it, the more stoned I feel. WHAT ARE EYES AND HOW DID THIS HAPPEN.  
<strong><span>It looks similar &mdash; but also so different &mdash; from what I see every day in the mirror. I never knew ho
It looks similar — but also so different — from what I see every day in the mirror. I never knew how much yellow I have in my eyes!  
<strong><span>My eye looks like a series of puddles or raindrops on water. Or a holey tshirt.</span></strong>
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My eye looks like a series of puddles or raindrops on water. Or a holey tshirt.  
<strong><span>I see leftovers from a Guillermo Del Toro movie set. Not sure if this one was a hit.</span></strong>
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I see leftovers from a Guillermo Del Toro movie set. Not sure if this one was a hit.  
<strong><span>Green is my favorite color so I've always felt lucky to have the eyes I do. When I look at them I see instrumen
Green is my favorite color so I've always felt lucky to have the eyes I do. When I look at them I see instruments that help me do some of my favorite things, like reading, going to the theater and traveling the world.  
<strong><span>When I look at my eye, I see fire. I may have green eyes, but when you look closely, there's a yellow and orang
When I look at my eye, I see fire. I may have green eyes, but when you look closely, there's a yellow and orange ring in there. It's funny -- I've always felt that I'm a relatively emotional, passionate person, and seeing that there's "fire" in my eyes reaffirms that.  
<strong><span>I see curiosity when I look into my eyes: these green eyes have guided me through years of creating, falling in
I see curiosity when I look into my eyes: these green eyes have guided me through years of creating, falling in love, getting into trouble, figuring out how to get out of said trouble, and appreciating beauty in all its diversity.  
<strong><span>I had deep dark brown eyes when I was younger, but always envied my mom's vibrant green eyes. With each passing
I had deep dark brown eyes when I was younger, but always envied my mom's vibrant green eyes. With each passing day, I find myself doing or saying more things my mom would, both consciously and subconsciously, in hopes of emulating her focus and strength. I feel like the slow physical transition to lighter, hazel green eyes over the years mirrors my emotional transition into adulthood and desire to be just like Mom. D'aww.  
<strong><span>It looks like something that would be narrated by Carl Sagan.</span></strong>
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It looks like something that would be narrated by Carl Sagan.  
<strong><span>The gold bubble from Darren Aronofsky's "The Fountain."</span></strong>
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The gold bubble from Darren Aronofsky's "The Fountain."  
<strong><span>An imperfect design, a fine frenzy.</span></strong>
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An imperfect design, a fine frenzy.  
<strong><span>My parents. They blessed me with these baby blues.</span></strong>
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My parents. They blessed me with these baby blues.  
<strong><span>I see a bunch of trees growing out of a swamp. I also see it's time to invest in a good eye cream.</span></stro
I see a bunch of trees growing out of a swamp. I also see it's time to invest in a good eye cream.  
<strong><span>The universe and stuff.</span></strong>
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The universe and stuff.  
<strong><span>I see storm clouds when I look in my eyes.</span></strong>
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I see storm clouds when I look in my eyes.  
<strong><span>It's the same shade as my mom's.</span></strong>
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It's the same shade as my mom's.  
<strong><span>I see my pupils expanding and contracting. Sorry that's not very poetic. :/</span></strong>
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I see my pupils expanding and contracting. Sorry that's not very poetic. :/  
<strong><span>I see me in the past, present and future. I can grow an inch, dye my hair, gain or lose a pound, but my eyes ar
I see me in the past, present and future. I can grow an inch, dye my hair, gain or lose a pound, but my eyes are the one thing that will always stay the same.  
<strong><span>I actually really like my eyes. Around middle school, girls started telling me they liked my eyes and it was a
I actually really like my eyes. Around middle school, girls started telling me they liked my eyes and it was a big confidence booster. Today, I get asked once in a while what color are my eyes, and I truly don't know the answer, because people have told me different things when they've looked at them. So I suppose my eyes are a mystery, and I like it that way.  
<strong><span>I see my parents and their parents, I also see I need more sleep.</span></strong>
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I see my parents and their parents, I also see I need more sleep.  
PHOTO GALLERY
Macro Eyeballs