Mantis Shrimp can see 100,000 colors, 10x the number we can, and are the only animals to see circular polarized light. Scientists think that mantis shrimp eye tech could lead to a new age of telecom and optical devices.

Let me explain. The same biological structures used in the mantis shrimp—a strange creature with 500m years of lineage—to see circular polarized light are used in modern satellite communications and the laser/lens setup in DVD and CD players. The fundamental hardware in our tech are called quarter-wave plates. They both do a 90 degree shift to wave patterns, and quarter waves are ideal for our tech because they are part of high compression, lossless data signals. But mantis shrimp eyes can work this magic on a broad array of light spectrum with their tightly packed tube shaped cells, while our clumsy human tech can only do it to a few frequencies. The potential for new higher bandwidth devices is there.



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