10 Radically Different Ways Animals See the World

Contrary to popular (and typically arrogant) belief, many animals see the world at least as well as–and very often better than–us humans. Of course, “reality” is always subjective; but as far as sensory input goes, our image of the world is actually far “less complete” than many animals we see as subordinate.

There are many remarkable things about bees, not least about their vision in particular. For one thing, they navigate based on the position of the sun without actually having to see it. As long as there’s sunlight getting through the clouds, even on an overcast day, bees are able to compute a homing vector by the distance flown in each direction relative to the layout of polarized rays (effectively vertical pillars of light). This allows them to cover great distances and always return to their hives. And when they get there, they might communicate the route they took by way of their famous “waggle dance.”

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