Meet Veronica Seider who possessed a visual acuity 20 times better than average. She could identify people at a distance of more than a mile (1.6 km).

Smallest visible object

The resolving power of the human eye is 0.0003 of a radian or an arc of one minute (1/60th of a degree), which corresponds to 100 microns at 25 cm (10 in). A micron is a thousandth of a millimetre, hence 100 microns is 0.003937, or less than four thousandths of an inch or 2.5 cm. The human eye can, however, detect a bright light source shining through an aperture only 3 to 4 microns across. In October 1972 the University of Stuttgart, then West Germany, reported that their student Veronica Seider (b. 1951) possessed a visual acuity 20 times better than average. She could identify people at a distance of more than a mile (1.6 km).

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13 thoughts on “Meet Veronica Seider who possessed a visual acuity 20 times better than average. She could identify people at a distance of more than a mile (1.6 km).”

  1. LiliVonStoop9001

    My grandpa was like this and it drove me crazy.

    He’d point at something he thought was interesting, usually some form of wildlife like a bird, that was half a mile away and then get all frustrated when I couldn’t see it too. Eventually he realized I did not inherit his ridiculous eyesight and just bought me a pair of binoculars.

  2. atomuk

    I love stuff like this because there must be loads of people with similar traits but never realise it because it’s normal for them. Not just sight but hearing, touch, etc. Usually people only get those tested when they are particularly bad.

  3. bluegargoyle

    Neat. I have to use a magnifying glass I keep in my kitchen just to check the expiration dates on my food.

  4. forgottenmyth

    I can’t even Identify someone 20 ft away

  5. SketchyConcierge

    Veronica! What do your elf eyes see?

  6. Philip_of_mastadon

    But could she see why kids love Cinnamon Toast Crunch?

  7. dml997

    Not plausible. The Rayleigh diffraction limit is 1.22 lambda / D, and green light which we are most sensitive to has lambda = 500nm, and the eye has D = 6mm, so resolution in a perfect eye is limited to .0001 radian which is only 3 times better than the articles cited .0003 radian.

    And the comment about the bright light 3 or 4 microns across is gibberish. You can see light coming through an arbitrarily small region as long as there is enough of it. A typical star at 1000 LY has an angle of .0000000001 radian, but is visible because it is a bright point. You just can’t resolve pairs of points closer than .0003 radian, for the typical person.

  8. MuNansen

    There’s stories about Michael Jordan having something like this. People talked about him reading game scores from TVs far beyond what they could see. And Ted Williams could apparently see which way the baseball seams were spinning on a pitch.

  9. MaryandNorton

    Jeepers, I can’t even identify people when they’re right in front of me unless they’ve got exactly the same hairstyle and clothes as the last time I saw them or they’re walking towards me so I can identify them from their walk or their stance.

  10. varyingopinions

    See you tomorrow!

    Not if I see you first!

  11. just_some_guy65

    This article doesn’t seem to have much in the way of facts, just a bald assertion, it seems to me that she would need something like an inbuilt zoom lens.

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