Mantis shrimp are beautiful creatures. They also have perhaps the most incredible eyes in the entire animal kingdom.
Human beings have binocular vision, because we have two eyes which work together. Mantis shrimp eyes are compound, composed of up to 10,000 individual lenses. They’re also segmented into three parts, so each individual mantis shrimp eye has trinocular vision, meaning that just one eye has better depth perception than both of ours do together.
Mantis shrimp also have hyperspectral vision. Where the photoreceptors (cones) in human retinas come in three types, corresponding to red, green, and blue light, mantis shrimp have 12 different types of photoreceptor (some species have 16). This means that mantis shrimp can see a much more colourful world than we do, as well as being able to see both ultraviolet and infrared light, invisible to us.
Mantis shrimp eyes can also see polarised light with a better response across the whole wavelength than man-made optics like those used in blu-ray discs.
These creatures see the world in ways which we humans can never fully comprehend.