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Scientists make tiny 3D glasses for praying mantis

A research team at Newcastle University have made the world's smallest 3D glasses to try to better understand how the insects see.

The creatures are the only insects known to process images in three dimensions, like humans do. The praying mantis rely heavily on their sight, and can see up to 20 metres.

But as they have such simple nervous systems, scientists think they must have evolved 3D vision in a different way to humans.

The glasses could help scientists to work out how they can see in 3D.

The insects are put in front of computer generated images.

With the glasses it will seem like virtual flies are jumping out of the screen.

If the praying mantis pounces, it shows it's reacting to the images in the same way we do when watching a film in 3D.

Pictures: 3D glasses-wearing praying mantis

The praying mantis seems surprised at what it can see through its 3D spectacles Credit: ITV Tyne Tees
The stuff of science fiction. Credit: ITV Tyne Tees
Newcastle scientist with glasses-wearing praying mantis. Credit: ITV Tyne Tees

Tiny 3D glasses have been made for praying mantises to help scientists understand sight.

The creatures are the only insects known to see, like we do, in three dimensions.

But with such small brains, it's not known HOW they do it.

Researchers at Newcastle University hope the results of their experiments could simplify technology for robotics.


What a vision! Scientists give praying mantis glasses

A praying mantis wearing the world's smallest 3D glasses

The world's smallest 3D glasses have been created by scientists at Newcastle University to help understand the vision of a praying mantis.

The insects are the only ones known to see in 3D, like humans.

The glasses are made from the same plastic used for the 3D specs we wear at the cinema, but measure just 15mm across and are stuck onto the insects with beeswax.

The researchers are hoping the results will help with the development of robotics in the future.