My mother sufferers from a myriad of eye problems, glaucoma, macular degeneration, and, most annoyingly to her, dry eyes. We’ve all had dry eyes, due to wind, lack of sleep, allergies, but why do some, like my mother, suffer more than most? Well, get together an eyelash batting baby, and infinitely curious scientist, some grad students, and you are on your way to the answer.
Dr. David Hu and his grad students at the Georgia Institute of Technology not only measured the lashes of different mammals, some with and some without, they also created an artificial eye with lashes. They then created a wind tunnel and a mathematical model to create airflow over the model. After measuring the eyelashes of 22 different mammals they noted that eyelash length was generally 1/3 the width of the eye. This length was tested in the wind tunnel with the model “eye” and was found to be most adequate for retaining the eyes moisture and keeping out particles.