Praying Mantis Tries 3-D Glasses

Unimpressed by virtual objects

Apr 29, 2014
Outside Magazine
OutsideOnline praying mantis 3D glasses goggles steroscopic vision depth perception specs

Sweet shades, dude.    Newcastle University/YouTube

Most humans ditched their 3-D goggles post-Avatar, but Newcastle University just released video of its scientists hurling virtual objects at a praying mantis equipped with a miniature set of three-dimensional specs. The praying mantis seems undaunted—despite looking pretty suave in its new shades.

In a ploy to understand how insects perceive depth, scientists glued a pair of 3-D glasses—with beeswax, not actual glue—to the praying mantis's stereoscopic eyes (nature's version of three-dimensional vision), placed the creature in front of a green screen, and tried to get the insect to react.

This is not the first time scientists have messed with bugs. Backyard Brains released "the world's first commercially available cyborg" last year. The Roboroach, a cockroach-ready backpack that gifts the user with "brief" wireless control of the left and right movements of the cockroach from their smartphone, is no longer available in Apple or Google Play stores after receiving some serious flack from the pro-roach community.

That's insects two, scientists zero.

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