Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Eyes Watching You!

Today's Wonder of the World is...Fake Eyes!

Flickr photo by kingkonut

No! Not those!
They gives me the willies! (I love the term the willies. I must find out where it comes from.)

I mean fake eyes like these.

Flickr photo by Sun Chaser
See them looking at you?

I find it fascinating that nature provides some of its most vulnerable creatures protection with adaptations like fake eyes! All because nobody really likes to be stared at.
Well, some people probably do.

Flickr photo by Chris in KC
But being stared at is scary to most of us. Unless it's part of the mating ritual. Which can also be scary depending on who's doing the staring!

Did you know that many birds stop their mating dance if someone stares at them? Give the birds a little privacy, people!

Flickr photo by SaCaSeA

Back to fake eyes...
All kinds of insects and frogs and snakes and fish have fake eyes just for defensive purposes. Some of them flash their fake eyes at their enemy just to knock them off guard.

Flickr photo by saxonfenken

Or to make them think they're surrounded!

Flickr photo by kelpie1

Or that they're more powerful than they really are.

Flickr photo by Wilson Yang

Or just plain freaky, like this bug-eyed thing.

Flickr photo by Jen Salik
Oops. I didn't mean him. (Though he is kind of scary.)

I meant this big- eyed bug.

Flickr photo by mbm3290
I'd hate to find him under the covers.
Or the human one, for that matter. (No offense, bug- eyed guy. )

I myself am quite fond of fake eyes--especially those of the wiggle variety.
They have their place in life, and right now their place is on my son's stapler

And on his inhaler

And all over his room.
It's a birthday surprise for him to find when he comes home from camp.
Wiggle eyes just crack me up.

And so do these butterfly eyes!

Flickr photo by raelface
Have a Wonder-full Wednesday, y'all!
Love, Becky


Tara said...

That is so cool! I love wiggle eyes.


Barb said...

Hi Becky,

Love those eyes on the butterflies and peacock. The others do give me the willies. You do find the best pictures.


Suzie said...

I love em too. Now I am just barely stopping myself from going crazy with the googly eyes. Thanks thanks a lot!

Rosemary said...

I always use the term "the willies"
Where does that come from?
Love the butterflies!

Susan said...

Great post. I never thought about putting wiggle eyes on things. Look out office! I used to have a book that had pictures of things that had "faces" on them, you know like a light socket and a parking meter, etc. I am always seeing faces in things. Now, I will start looking for eyes. Thanks for the inspiration.

A Fanciful Twist said...

BRAVo!! This is a FAB post, I can't even tell you!! And, yes, nature's "eyes" are astounding, to say the least!!! HAHAH!! And wiggly eye treasrues for when your boy comes home from camp!! Perfection!! I need wiggly eyes everywhere today! sO FUN! sPARKLY dAY!

TattingChic said...

THe EYES have it. ha ha. I love the term "the willies", too. I think you should do a post on where that term is...I can see it now..."The next wonder of the worlds is the WILLIES!!!". Yeah, that'll be a GOOD one, Becky! Go for it. I hope you let us all know what your son thinks of his wiggly eyed birthday surprises when he comes home from camp.

steve said...

You got me curious about the term "the willies," so I did a cursory search and found some random person's theories(person's screen name is "just_orange_cherries" on
I have checked several reference works, and most agree that "the willies," meaning "the jitters" or "nervous apprehension," is of "unknown origin." One exception, my own parents' Morris Dictionary of Word and Phrase Origins, traces "the willies" to the slang expression "willie-boy," meaning "sissy" -- presumably the sort who would be prone to the "willies."

That theory is far from impossible, but I think I may have found, thanks to my evening with "Giselle," a more likely source. The "willies" in the ballet take their name from the Serbo-Croatian word "vila" (in English, "wili" or "willi") meaning a wood-nymph or fairy, usually the spirit of a betrothed girl who died after being jilted by her lover. It seems entirely possible to me that "willi," the spirit or ghost, became the "willies," the feeling that something creepy is going on.

So there's a couple theories, worth exactly what you paid for them! They both sound plausible to me, but then again, I must have too much time on my hands. Actually, I should be working, so it's just procrastination.

Rebecca Ramsey said...

Hey folks!
Steve,that answer to where the willies came from gives me the willies, so it must be true. A fairy spirit of a betrothed girl who died after being jilted? As Luke would say, that's spooky-ooky!
Thanks Steve!

May Vanderbilt said...

First ears of corn, now bug eyes. Not to be nosy, but are snouts up next?


Rebecca Ramsey said...


Kristin said...

HAHA this is such a cute post..and very interesting insects..

Randy and Linda said...

I have another possibility for the term "willies". There is a 1950's childrens book we own that is called "Little Willie". Every page is a comic B&W sketch of this little boy named Willie, and each page shows in a humorous way of how much of a brat and demon he is, and they're genuinly funny. So what I get out of knowing this is that you get a "nervous / unsteady" feeling (the willies) whenever this kid, Willie comes around. I'm not sure which came first, the Willie book or the term "the willies". I'll scan-in and email you a couple of pages from it - you'll enjoy that!
Only the human eyeballs (or dogs) gross me out. Remember the Beatles song "The Walrus" - lyrics in it - "yellow mellow custard, dripping from a dead dog's eye" yuuuuukkk.
You need to see a re-run of Christopher Walken's most recent hosting of Saturday Night Live - one whole skit was devoted to "Googly Eyes". It is soooo funny - he puts these sets of silly looking plastic eyes on all of the plants in his greenhouse, so that he know's where he stands with them. Very funny, and almost as good as his very famous skit, "Need More Cowbell" on SNL - where he's a band manager, and the band is playing just the intro to Blue Oyster Cult's "Romeo & Juliet" song. Even the radio stations today still refer to that skit expression from Walken, "give me some more cowbell".
Another thing that connects with "Googly Eyes" is that one of the largest corporations in the world, Google, basically that's what their original business did - watch, crawl, scan, every web page and watch with their Google eyes and record and categorize what they see on the www !
Gotta run. Randy

Life on Bonnie Lane said...

I am way behind in blog visits! Loved this post and the reasons behind why animals have "eyes" on them or their feathers.

I friend of mine has a fake eye, yes like the ones at the top of your blog. She said she knew she had found her life partner when her partner said that after she died, there would be a house built for her eye so that a part of her would be alive forever.

Ok, not my idea of romantic either, but it worked for them!