The Light

The Light

Many of us are animal enthusiasts, and often we have furry friends who occupy our living spaces alongside us. I myself grew up with a number of dogs and have often witnessed some quite mysterious behavior. You may or may not have encountered this strange phenomenon as well. On occasion, it can seem as if your K9 or feline companions are staring blankly at an empty corner of the room or directly at a wall. In my experience, it is often the same general area that our pawed pal’s gaze is locked upon. It makes me and I'm sure many others wonder what on earth are they staring at.

Human eyes are tuned to view what we describe as the visible light spectrum. The wavelengths of electromagnetic radiation ranging from 380 nanometers (violet) to 700 nanometers (red), the colors we recognize include orange, blue, green, yellow, indigo, the two colors previously mentioned, and all of the various blends of such. However, this makes up a tiny percentage of the overall electromagnetic spectrum, which in nanometers ranges from 10^-4 (gamma) all the way to 10^10 (radio). The scientific notation of this number is 3.5x10^-26 percent. You should be familiar with some of the other spectrums of electromagnetic radiation such as x-rays and microwaves. These other forms of electromagnetic radiation are indeed light but it just so happens that we fail to recognize and process them. Objects appear the color they do because of the wavelengths of light they do not absorb and in turn reflect. For example the leaves on your trees are green because they take in the other wavelengths of light but do not interact with the spectrum of green light (roughly 520nm – 580nm) and reroute it back to your vision system.

As we know, many species in the animal kingdom have evolved to have a far superior sense of sight in comparison to our own. This leads me to believe that these enhancements grant many animalia the capability to interpret wavelengths of light that we cannot. Now that we know how little light we can actually view, I propose a theory. Since the dawn of recorded history and I'm sure there are oral tales that date back much farther, people have told of ghosts, gods, spirits, demons and shadows of the night, both positive and negative entities. These apparitions present themselves and tend to vanish just as quickly as they came. It makes sense to assume that these mystical beings take in and return light waves that we are unable to see, other wavelengths in the electromagnetic spectrum that our eyeballs and brain just simply do not detect and decipher. On the other hand, our pets visual gifts may encompass this ability and they are able to view the other forms of energy amongst us. Just because our looking mechanisms lack the necessary parts to perceive a wider portion of electromagnetic radiation, does not mean it is not there. So the next time your four legged roommates glare appears to be fixated on something, you should ask yourself who or what is joining your family for dinner, or even if whatever it is enjoys that late night talk show just as much as you.

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