View Full Version : What am I seeing?

2006-Aug-11, 10:21 PM
In my washroom, there are white marble floors and white bathtub and everything is white. Today when I went in there, I started noticing little white specs of I dont know what. I see them when I dont focus on one partucular thing. There are lots of them, and they fly in swirly patterns, sometimes leaving a trail. What exactly am I seeing? By the way, im not crazy and I notice these things more in light environments, such as my white washroom. I see them when I stop and dont move for a bit.


2006-Aug-11, 10:35 PM
These are very likely white blood cells (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blue_field_entoptic_phenomenon) or something similar in your eye. We don't normally see them, but on occasion they become visible.

Jeff Root
2006-Aug-12, 12:29 AM
Bits of junk floating in the eyeball, casting shadows on the
retina are generally called "floaters", and look gray, not
white, because they are shadows.

What I think afterburner is seeing is something else:


I saw some again, rather faintly, just yesterday.

-- Jeff, in Minneapolis

2006-Aug-12, 01:15 AM
Wow, you're good cmsavage. That description on wiki matches pretty well.

I know for sure it wasnt floaters, I know what those look like. And it wasnt what Jeff is talking about either, although I see those too sometimes.

These were bright dots moving around pretty fast in swirly paths, and sometimes leaving trails that last for maybe half a second. There were a lot of them and they were everywhere. Like I said, the wiki description matches very well, although I didnt notice them moving in sync with my heart beat.

2006-Aug-12, 01:51 AM
Just last month I saw an science museum exhibit on the same thing. You could just look into a plain backlit viewer and all that stuff moving around in your eye became quite clear. It's amazing you don't see this more often, although I suppose your brain is trained to ignore it (most of the time).

2006-Aug-12, 06:40 PM
it all sounds familiar--the floaters, the things you (or, I) sometimes see after waking up (though not against a blue field! Could it still be white blood cells....) or the retina itself if the light shines on your eye just right--someone told me that he read an article claiming the "canali" on Mars might have been a sketch of the astronomer's (I forgot his name) own retina. Now--one that interests me is Heidinger's Brush (purple/yellow apperition that allows some people to detect the direction of polarized light)--I've yet to see it--perhaps I need to order some polarized filters instead of merely looking at the sky.

I'll add, at times, I'd wake up and not just see spots moving around, but something looking like spider webs floating, and then they disappear. They don't quite look like "floaters".


2006-Aug-15, 12:40 PM
It almost sounds like an optical effect. Similar to the way you see gray dots in some patterns of alternating balck and white, even though there are no gray spots in the pattern.

Also, I have noticed spots sometimes when I stand real fast after an extended period of sitting, I hear this is attributable to the rapid change in blood pressure. Some medicines I have taken enhance this effect, so much so that sudden or quick movements can cause the same spots. I wonder if you'd experience this with different lighting in that room.