General Question

arnbev959's avatar

What's with the lights/colors/motion you see when you close your eyes?

Asked by arnbev959 (10888points) July 13th, 2008

When I was a little kid I used to close my eyes and rub them with my fists, because of all those pretty colors (and my mom would yell at me to stop.) I never knew exactly what was going on there.

Why are those colors there? What are they? If your were in a completely dark place would you eventually stop seeing them (or see more of them)? Are there any people who don’t see them? Do blind people experience this? Why do I see more of them when I’m high?

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13 Answers

bulbatron9's avatar

How much have you been smoking, pete?

seVen's avatar

it’s blood rushing into your eyelids.

xxporkxsodaxx's avatar

Your seeing the blood in your eyes.

Skyrail's avatar

That. Is. Awesome. I love doing that lol. Ow. My eyes.

syz's avatar

What you are seeing is the result of nerve impulses firing off. There’s a couple nice descriptions here:

http://nz.answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20080610233748AAmEN8K

gailcalled's avatar

There are also the floaters that some get, both young and old.

Allie's avatar

I liked doing that too, Petey. I also see those little white dots that look like they’re moving sometimes. They remind me of stars shooting past. The stars thing only happens when I’m still though, if I move I don’t see them until I stop again. Pretty cool..

arnbev959's avatar

Sometimes I get something that looks like a web made of circles that seems to be coming from my eyes and moving toward whatever I’m looking at.

These wikipedia articles are really interesting.

I’m wondering if these phenomena have anything to do with the images people see in dreams.

Knotmyday's avatar

Ah. Phosphenes. Always wondered that…good Q, pete.

weedman1's avatar

yo when i get high i start seeing fucking different colors of a rainbow going in a straight line well like IIIII and when im not high i still see dots which is called visual snow but i dont see colors but i find it interesting its better than just seeing black and my friend told me he see like a line of dots going in a circle that are in colors only when he laying down in complete darkness though but i can do it to only did that once it was hard just control your mind and you can see different shit its awsome

gailcalled's avatar

@weedman1: (And that was on awesomely incomprehensible run-on sentence. Yo, yourself.)

dcompguru's avatar

good question, indeed. I was just wondering that the other day after looking at a light bulb and then closing my eyes.

ETpro's avatar

@petethepothead I know this is a very old thread, but I was just going to ask your question myself, because I see them often and have my entire life. Searching before asking found this thread. Thanks so much for the link to *Closed Eye Visualizations in Wikepedia. Clearly I am not alone in experiencing these, although many of the people answering seem not to have experienced the phenomenon. I have them occasionally at Level 4, which is seeing definable objects. I’m thankful its never progressed to Level 5.

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