A young boy in China named Nong Yousui was born with bright blue eyes that when light is shined on them, they reflect a neon-green color. This stunning condition is similar to an animal’s night vision ability which is called the tapetum lucidum.
Concerned about his beaming blue eyes, Nong’s father brought him to a hospital to have his eyes checked. Doctors were amazed by it and began to study his eyes. Like a nocturnal animal, Nong has the ability to see clearly even in complete darkness. However, he feels uncomfortable under the bright sunlight.
“They told me he would grow out of it and that his eyes would stop glowing and turn black like most Chinese people but they never did,” his father said.
A thin layer of cells that can be found in the eyes of cats and nocturnal mammals called the tapetum lucidum makes night vision possible for them. This thin layer is called the ‘retroreflector’ which reflects the light directly back along its incoming path when illuminated by a beam of light.
Retroreflection also causes the eyes to flash a bright color when lit up at night or in darkness. Nong’s night vision has caused worldwide interest by vision scientists, evolutionary biologists, and genetic engineers. His condition or ability is great news for science as the use of genetic technologies to deliberately create such a condition to humans may soon be possible.
His abilities were tested by letting him answer a set of questionnaires in a pitched black room. The test showed that Nong can read and write without any light and can see clearly as people can at daytime.
Because of his extraordiary condition, Nong has set the world record to be the first human who can see in the dark, according to the World Record Academy which is the leading international organization which certify world records.