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Scientists have come with answers to the age-old question of why eyelashes are the length they are. Researchers the Georgia Institute Technology conducted a variety tests the lashes of 22 different mammals. One was to create a special wind tunnel and an artificial eye to provide mathematical models how the wind blew lashes. The conclusion head researcher David Hu is that the function eyelashes is to help protect the eyes from drying out and that the optimal eyelash length for this to happen is one-third as long as the eye is wide. Professor Hu found that across a wide variety of mammals, the ratio eyelash length and eye width was consistently one-third.

Dr Hu started his investigation the birth his newborn daughter. He wondered why his baby kept batting her eyelids. He told the International Business Times that: "Eyelashes that rim the eyes mammals have been a mystery a long time as to what their function was. There were a lot hypotheses, from dust catchers to triggering the blink reflex….What we did was the first aerodynamic study eyelashes. We showed using three independent means that eyelashes reduce evaporation the eye by 70 per cent, and they reduce [the deposits] small airborne particles." A colleague said Hu had a talent , "looking at what everybody has looked , and seeing what nobody has seen."


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