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Visualizing the Evolution of Vision and the Eye

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Infographic illustrating the development of the eye

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Roadmapping the Evolution of the Eye

Throughout history, numerous creatures have evolved increasingly complex eyes in response to different selective pressures.

Not all organisms, however, experience the same pressures. It’s why some creatures today still have eyes that are quite simple, or why some have no eyes at all. These organisms exemplify eyes that are “frozen” in time. They provide snapshots of the past, or “checkpoints” of how the eye has transformed throughout its evolutionary journey.

Scientists study the genes, anatomy, and vision of these creatures to figure out a roadmap of how the eye came to be. And so, we put together an evolutionary graphic timeline of the eye’s different stages using several candidate species.

Let’s take a look at how the eye has formed throughout time.

Where Vision Comes From

The retina is a layer of nerve tissue, often at the back of the eye, that is sensitive to light.

When light hits it, specialized cells called photoreceptors transform light energy into electrical signals and send them to the brain. Then the brain processes these electrical signals into images, creating vision.

The earliest form of vision arose in unicellular organisms. Containing simple nerve cells that can only distinguish light from dark, they are the most common eye in existence today.

The ability to detect shapes, direction, and color comes from all of the add-ons evolution introduces to these cells.

Two Major Types of Eyes

Two major eye types are dominant across species. Despite having different shapes or specialized parts, improved vision in both eye types is a product of small, gradual changes that optimize the physics of light.

Simple Eyes

Simple eyes are actually quite complex, but get their name because they consist of one individual unit.

Some mollusks and all of the higher vertebrates, like birds, reptiles, or humans, have simple eyes.

Grid of photos showing examples of simple eyes in the animal kingdom

Simple eyes evolved from a pigment cup, slowly folding inwards with time into the shape we recognize today. Specialized structures like the lens, cornea, and pupil arose to help improve the focus of light on the retina. This helps create sharper, clearer images for the brain to process.

Simple eye evolution

Compound Eyes

Compound eyes are formed by repeating the same basic units of photoreceptors called ommatidia. Each ommatidium is similar to a simple eye, composed of lenses and photoreceptors.

Grouped together, ommatidia form a geodesic pattern that is commonly seen in insects and crustaceans.

Grid of photos showing examples of compound eyes in the animal kingdom

Our understanding of the evolution of the compound eye is a bit murky, but we know that rudimentary ommatidia evolved into larger, grouped structures that maximize light capture.

compound eye evolution

In environments like caves, the deep subsurface, or the ocean floor where little to no light exists, compound eyes are useful for producing vision that gives even the slightest advantage over other species.

How Will Vision Evolve?

Our increasing dependency on technology and digital devices may be ushering in the advent of a new eye shape.

The muscles around the eye stretch to shift the lens when staring at something close by. The eye’s round shape elongates in response to this muscle strain.

Screen time with cellphones, tablets, and computers has risen dramatically over the years, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. Recent studies are already reporting rises in childhood myopia, the inability to see far away. Since the pandemic, cases have increased by 17%, affecting almost 37% of schoolchildren.

Other evolutionary opportunities for our eyes are currently less obvious. It remains to be seen whether advanced corrective therapies, like corneal transplants or visual prosthetics, will have any long-term evolutionary impact on the eye.

For now, colored contacts and wearable tech may be our peek into the future of vision.

Complete Sources

Fernald, Russell D. “Casting a Genetic Light on the Evolution of Eyes.” Science, vol. 313, no. 5795, 29 Sept. 2006, pp. 1914–1918

Gehring, W. J. “New Perspectives on Eye Development and the Evolution of Eyes and Photoreceptors.” Journal of Heredity, vol. 96, no. 3, 13 Jan. 2005, pp. 171–184. Accessed 18 Dec. 2019.

The Evolution of Sight | PHOS.”

Land, Michael F, and Dan-Eric Nilsson. Animal Eyes. Oxford ; New York, Oxford University Press, 2002.

“The Major Topics of the Research Work of Prof. Dan-E. Nilsson: Vision-Research.eu – the Gateway to European Vision Research.” Accessed 3 Oct. 2022.

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Technology

Mapped: How Much Netflix Costs in Every Country

This map of Netflix price by country shows how much a basic subscription package costs around the world.

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Mapped: Netflix Price by Country

This was originally posted on our Voronoi app. Download the app for free on Apple or Android and discover incredible data-driven charts from a variety of trusted sources.

Netflix, the renowned streaming giant, has transformed the way we consume entertainment, providing a vast library of movies, TV shows, and documentaries at the touch of a button.

However, the cost of accessing this digital haven varies significantly from country to country, reflecting economic disparities and market dynamics.

This graphic from Preyash Shah maps Netflix price by country, using standard (basic) package subscription monthly rates from Netflix.com and converting to USD as of December 10, 2023.

What is the Netflix Price by Country?

Across 244 countries and territories that had Netflix available in December of 2023, Switzerland was the most expensive at $21.48 per month. That was $5 more than the second-most-expensive country on the list.

CountriesNetflix Cost (USD)
🇦🇫 Afghanistan$7.99
🇦🇽 Åland Islands$12.92
🇦🇱 Albania$8.61
🇩🇿 Algeria$7.99
🇦🇸 American Samoa$15.49
🇦🇩 Andorra$14.00
🇦🇴 Angola$7.99
🇦🇮 Anguilla$12.99
🇦🇬 Antigua & Barbuda$12.99
🇦🇷 Argentina$3.57
🇦🇲 Armenia$10.76
🇦🇼 Aruba$12.99
🇦🇺 Australia$11.19
🇦🇹 Austria$14.00
🇦🇿 Azerbaijan$10.76
🇧🇸 Bahamas$12.99
🇧🇭 Bahrain$10.49
🇧🇩 Bangladesh$7.99
🇧🇧 Barbados$15.29
🇧🇾 Belarus$10.76
🇧🇪 Belgium$14.54
🇧🇿 Belize$5.99
🇧🇯 Benin$9.99
🇧🇲 Bermuda$12.99
🇧🇹 Bhutan$7.99
🇧🇴 Bolivia$5.99
🇧🇦 Bosnia & Herzegovina$8.61
🇧🇼 Botswana$7.99
🇧🇻 Bouvet Island$9.99
🇧🇷 Brazil$8.10
🇮🇴 British Indian Ocean Territory$7.99
🇻🇬 British Virgin Islands$12.99
🇧🇳 Brunei$11.99
🇧🇬 Bulgaria$8.61
🇧🇫 Burkina Faso$7.99
🇧🇮 Burundi$7.99
🇰🇭 Cambodia$7.99
🇨🇲 Cameroon$7.99
🇨🇦 Canada$12.13
🇨🇻 Cape Verde$7.99
🇨🇰 Caribbean Netherlands$12.99
🇰🇾 Cayman Islands$12.99
🇨🇫 Central African Republic$7.99
🇹🇩 Chad$7.99
🇨🇱 Chile$9.58
🇨🇽 Christmas Island$7.99
🇨🇨 Cocos (Keeling) Islands$11.19
🇨🇴 Colombia$6.75
🇰🇲 Comoros$7.99
🇨🇬 Republic of the Congo$7.99
🇨🇩 Democratic Republic of the Congo$7.99
🇨🇰 Cook Islands$11.32
🇨🇷 Costa Rica$12.99
🇨🇮 Côte d’Ivoire$7.99
🇭🇷 Croatia$8.61
🇨🇺 Cuba$5.99
🇨🇼 Curaçao$12.99
🇨🇾 Cyprus$11.84
🇨🇿 Czechia$11.42
🇩🇰 Denmark$16.46
🇩🇯 Djibouti$7.99
🇩🇲 Dominica$5.99
🇩🇴 Dominican Republic$7.99
🇪🇨 Ecuador$7.99
🇪🇬 Egypt$3.88
🇸🇻 El Salvador$7.99
🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 England$7.99
🇪🇪 Estonia$7.99
🇪🇹 Ethiopia$10.76
🇫🇰 Falkland Islands$7.99
🇫🇴 Faroe Islands$7.99
🇫🇯 Fiji$12.99
🇫🇮 Finland$16.46
🇫🇷 France$7.99
🇬🇫 French Guiana$12.92
🇵🇫 French Polynesia$14.54
🇹🇫 French Southern Territories$13.46
🇬🇦 Gabon$11.99
🇬🇲 Gambia$12.92
🇬🇪 Georgia$7.99
🇩🇪 Germany$7.99
🇬🇭 Ghana$12.70
🇬🇮 Gibraltar$14.00
🇬🇷 Greece$7.99
🇬🇱 Greenland$14.00
🇬🇩 Grenada$11.84
🇬🇵 Guadeloupe$16.46
🇬🇺 Guam$5.99
🇬🇹 Guatemala$13.46
🇬🇬 Guernsey$15.49
🇬🇳 Guinea$7.99
🇬🇼 Guinea-Bissau$13.79
🇬🇾 Guyana$7.99
🇭🇹 Haiti$7.99
🇭🇲 Heard & McDonald Islands$5.99
🇭🇳 Honduras$5.99
🇭🇰 Hong Kong$9.99
🇭🇺 Hungary$7.99
🇮🇸 Iceland$9.99
🇮🇳 India$9.85
🇮🇩 Indonesia$14.00
🇮🇷 Iran$5.98
🇮🇶 Iraq$7.72
🇮🇪 Ireland$9.99
🇮🇲 Isle of Man$7.99
🇮🇱 Israel$16.15
🇮🇹 Italy$13.79
🇯🇲 Jamaica$12.67
🇯🇵 Japan$14.00
🇯🇪 Jersey$5.99
🇯🇴 Jordan$10.28
🇰🇿 Kazakhstan$13.79
🇰🇪 Kenya$7.99
🇰🇮 Kiribati$10.76
🇰🇼 Kuwait$4.52
🇰🇬 Kyrgyzstan$7.99
🇱🇦 Laos$9.99
🇱🇻 Latvia$10.76
🇱🇧 Lebanon$7.99
🇱🇸 Lesotho$10.76
🇱🇷 Liberia$7.99
🇱🇾 Libya$7.99
🇱🇮 Liechtenstein$7.99
🇱🇹 Lithuania$7.99
🇱🇺 Luxembourg$21.48
🇲🇴 Macau$10.76
🇲🇬 Madagascar$14.54
🇲🇼 Malawi$9.99
🇲🇾 Malaysia$7.99
🇲🇻 Maldives$7.99
🇲🇱 Mali$9.65
🇲🇹 Malta$11.99
🇲🇭 Marshall Islands$7.99
🇲🇶 Martinique$14.00
🇲🇷 Mauritania$15.49
🇲🇺 Mauritius$13.46
🇾🇹 Mayotte$7.99
🇲🇽 Mexico$7.99
🇫🇲 Micronesia$13.46
🇲🇩 Moldova$12.62
🇲🇨 Monaco$15.49
🇲🇳 Mongolia$10.76
🇲🇪 Montenegro$14.54
🇲🇸 Montserrat$7.99
🇲🇦 Morocco$8.61
🇲🇿 Mozambique$12.99
🇲🇲 Myanmar (Burma)$6.41
🇳🇦 Namibia$7.99
🇳🇷 Nauru$7.99
🇳🇵 Nepal$7.99
🇳🇱 Netherlands$11.99
🇳🇨 New Caledonia$7.99
🇳🇿 New Zealand$12.92
🇳🇮 Nicaragua$11.99
🇳🇪 Niger$11.32
🇳🇬 Nigeria$5.99
🇳🇺 Niue$7.99
🇳🇫 Norfolk Island$4.48
🇲🇰 North Macedonia$11.32
🇲🇵 Northern Mariana Islands$11.19
🇳🇴 Norway$8.61
🇴🇲 Oman$15.49
🇵🇰 Pakistan$9.99
🇵🇼 Palau$10.49
🇵🇸 Palestine$2.82
🇵🇦 Panama$15.49
🇵🇬 Papua New Guinea$7.99
🇵🇾 Paraguay$8.99
🇵🇪 Peru$7.99
🇵🇭 Philippines$5.99
🇵🇳 Pitcairn Islands$9.28
🇵🇱 Poland$7.19
🇵🇹 Portugal$7.99
🇵🇷 Puerto Rico$10.68
🇶🇦 Qatar$12.92
🇷🇪 Réunion$15.49
🇷🇴 Romania$9.99
🇷🇼 Rwanda$12.49
🇼🇸 Samoa$10.76
🇸🇲 San Marino$7.99
🇸🇹 São Tomé & Príncipe$7.99
🇸🇦 Saudi Arabia$14.00
🇸🇳 Senegal$7.99
🇷🇸 Serbia$11.47
🇸🇨 Seychelles$7.99
🇸🇱 Sierra Leone$8.61
🇸🇬 Singapore$7.99
🇸🇽 Sint Maarten$7.99
🇸🇰 Slovakia$13.02
🇸🇮 Slovenia$12.99
🇸🇧 Solomon Islands$10.76
🇸🇴 Somalia$8.61
🇿🇦 South Africa$7.99
🇬🇸 South Georgia & South Sandwich Islands$7.99
🇰🇷 South Korea$8.41
🇸🇸 South Sudan$9.99
🇪🇸 Spain$10.25
🇱🇰 Sri Lanka$7.99
🇧🇱 St. Barthélemy$14.00
🇸🇭 St. Helena$7.99
🇰🇳 St. Kitts & Nevis$5.99
🇱🇨 St. Lucia$7.99
🇲🇫 St. Martin$12.99
🇵🇲 St. Pierre & Miquelon$5.99
🇻🇨 St. Vincent & Grenadines$5.99
🇸🇩 Sudan$14.54
🇸🇷 Suriname$5.99
🇸🇯 Svalbard & Jan Mayen$7.99
🇸🇪 Sweden$5.99
🇨🇭 Switzerland$9.99
🇹🇼 Taiwan$12.32
🇹🇯 Tajikistan$21.48
🇹🇿 Tanzania$10.49
🇹🇭 Thailand$12.70
🇹🇱 Timor-Leste$7.99
🇹🇬 Togo$9.90
🇹🇰 Tokelau$7.99
🇹🇴 Tonga$7.99
🇹🇹 Trinidad and Tobago$11.32
🇹🇳 Tunisia$7.99
🇹🇷 Türkiye$12.99
🇹🇲 Turkmenistan$7.99
🇹🇨 Turks & Caicos Islands$3.38
🇹🇻 Tuvalu$10.76
🇺🇸 U.S. Outlying Islands$12.99
🇻🇮 U.S. Virgin Islands$7.99
🇺🇬 Uganda$9.99
🇺🇦 Ukraine$15.49
🇦🇪 United Arab Emirates$7.99
🇬🇧 United Kingdom$8.07
🇺🇸 United States$10.62
🇺🇾 Uruguay$13.79
🇺🇿 Uzbekistan$15.49
🇻🇺 Vanuatu$12.99
🇻🇦 Vatican City$10.76
🇻🇪 Venezuela$7.99
🇻🇳 Vietnam$14.00
🇼🇫 Wallis & Futuna$5.99
🇪🇭 Western Sahara$9.08
🇾🇪 Yemen$7.99
🇿🇲 Zambia$9.99
🇿🇼 Zimbabwe$7.99
Zambia$7.99
Zimbabwe$7.99

Other wealthy countries like Denmark, Ireland, and the U.S. were in the top five most expensive countries for Netflix subscriptions, ranging from $16.46 to $15.49.

On the opposite side of the pendulum, Pakistan had the lowest Netflix subscription cost at $2.82 per month. It was followed by Türkiye at $3.38 and Argentina at $3.57.

Several factors influence the flux in pricing of Netflix subscriptions across different nations. These include:

  • Economic Factors: Netflix tailors its prices to align with the purchasing power of consumers in each market. Countries with higher average incomes typically bear higher subscription costs.
  • Market Competition: The presence of strong local streaming services can exert downward pressure on Netflix prices, forcing it to adjust its offerings to remain competitive.
  • Content Licensing: The cost of acquiring content rights varies across regions, influencing the overall pricing structure. Countries with higher licensing fees may experience higher subscription costs.
  • Currency Fluctuations: Currency exchange rates can impact Netflix’s pricing model, leading to occasional adjustments or fluctuations in subscription costs.

While affordability remains a primary concern for consumers, Netflix’s pricing strategy also aims to balance accessibility with content acquisition and profitability.

As the streaming industry continues to evolve, it will be interesting to observe how Netflix adapts its pricing model to maintain its global dominance while catering to the diverse needs and preferences of its audience.

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