Mirrors have been a part of human history for thousands of years, serving various purposes in different cultures. Nowadays, mirrors are mostly used for personal grooming and decoration, but there are still many fascinating aspects of mirrors that people might be unaware of. Here are eight curiosities about mirrors that will surely spark your interest:
1. Mirrors can help solve crime
Police investigators have been using mirrors to solve crimes since the early 1900s. Mirrors can be used to look under doors or around corners, which is particularly useful when trying to catch criminals who are hiding. Nowadays, mirrors can also be used as part of forensic science, by reflecting light onto fingerprints or other pieces of evidence.
2. Mirrors have different ages
When you look into a mirror, what you see is not a perfect reflection of yourself. In fact, the reflection you see is slightly older than you are. This is because light takes time to travel the distance between you and the mirror, meaning that there is always a small delay between the present moment and the reflection that you see.
3. Mirrors can make you see ghosts
Have you ever looked into a mirror in a dark room and felt like you saw something moving in the reflection? This is known as the “strange face illusion” and is caused by a phenomenon called “peripheral drift”. Essentially, your brain is tricked into seeing movement in the reflection, which can sometimes create the illusion of a face or figure.
4. Mirrors can be haunted
According to superstition, mirrors can be portals to other worlds or dimensions. This has led some people to believe that mirrors can become “haunted” by ghosts or spirits, who can influence the reflection or even appear directly in the mirror. This belief has been popular in various cultures for centuries, and there are many rituals and traditions associated with mirror-gazing to try to communicate with these entities.
5. Mirrors can make you look different
Everyone knows that a mirror can make you look taller or shorter, depending on the angle and distance from which you view it. However, did you know that mirrors can also make you look heavier or lighter? This is because the image in the mirror is reversed, which can make certain features appear more prominent or less distinct.
6. Mirrors can be used for therapeutics
Mirrors can be used in a therapy called “mirror therapy”, which is used to help people with phantom limb pain. It involves placing a mirror between an amputee’s intact limb and the “phantom” limb, creating the illusion that the missing limb is present and moving. This can help to relieve the pain and discomfort associated with phantom limbs, improving the patient’s quality of life.
7. Mirrors are space-proof
In space, everything is different, including mirrors. Because there is no gravity, mirrors behave differently than they do on Earth. In fact, mirrors are one of the few materials that can withstand the harsh environment of space, including cosmic radiation and extreme temperatures. This has made mirrors a vital component of many space missions, used for everything from telescopes to solar panels.
8. Mirrors are used for communication
Believe it or not, mirrors have been used for long-distance communication for centuries. One of the earliest methods was the heliograph, a technique that involved reflecting sunlight off a mirror to send messages between distant points. While this method is largely obsolete nowadays, mirrors are still used for signaling and communication in certain situations, such as search and rescue operations.