When you look into eyes, forget about romance, creation, and the windows into the soul. With their molecules, genes, and tissues derived from microbes, jellyfish, worms, and flies, you see an entire menagerie.
Octopuses are well known for changing the colour, patterning, and
texture of their skin to blend into their surroundings and send signals
to each other, an ability that makes them both the envy of, and
inspiration for, army engineers trying to develop cloaking devices. As
if that wasn’t already impressive enough, research published today in
the Journal of Experimental Biology shows that octopus skin contains the pigment proteins found in eyes, making it responsive to light.
Reference: Ramirez, M. D. & Oakley, T. H. (2015). Eye-independent,
light-activated chromatophore expansion (LACE) and expression of
phototransduction genes in the skin of Octopus bimaculoides. J. Exp. Biol. doi: 10.1242/jeb.110908.
The common octopus (Octopus vulgaris). New research shows that
octopus skin contains the light-sensitive opsin protein, suggesting that
these clever cephalopods can “see” without using their eyes.
Photograph: Dave King/Getty Images/Dorling Kindersley