Scientists have found out that an average human blinks around 15 to 20 times per minute (around every five to six seconds). If we’re going to stretch that into hours we blink 1,200 times and if we’re going to extend it to a day, we’ll have an eye-popping 28,000 times. Truly, blinking is an important and regular activity every human being does as we blink almost 10 per cent of our waking hours.
But why do we blink in the first place?
Blinking is a semi-autonomic closing of the eyelid, mainly the inactivation of the levator paalpebrea superiors and activation of oricularis oculi. This controllable reflex helps spread tears across the eye and helps in washing away irritants like dust from our corneas and conjunctiva.
This means that if you don’t blink, tears will just stay in a specific point in the eye and would expose it to dust and other small external elements. You can try and prevent blinking for a few seconds but after that, your body will employ a strong force that will force you to blink, and the only way to really stop blinking is to close your eyes.
New Knowledge: A recent research from Japan’s Osaka University suggests that blinking is more than just eye-cleaning. It also serves as a short rest for the brain, a quick but essential brain refresh. This is allows us to focus better in what we are doing.
How fast does a human blink?
There are a lot of factors that can influence the speed of blinking (exhaustion, injury, medication or disease). But the speed and rate of every blinks can be determined through the blinking center and an external stimulus. But how fast does a regular blink goes?
The expression as fast as a blink of an eye means something is to be done, or accomplished at great speed.
But the average speed of a human blink is about 300 to 400 milliseconds or around three to four tenths of a second. This means that you would have blinked thrice before your clock even moves a hand. Blinking goes a way faster than Google pulling out your search results.
Unrelated but noteworthy:
- Animals such as fishes, amphibians, reptiles, and insects don’t have eyelids, hence they are unable to blink. However, they have a nicotating membrane as a substitute and can be pulled over the eye for protection. Some lizards even lick their eyeballs to clean irritants.
Blinking is a normal human action that reminds us that we can always pause, and refresh even for just a while. If you have questions, comments, or maybe clarifications, please let us know in the comments section below!