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Does staring at the sun cause significant, permanent harm?

As a child I was told to never look directly at the sun because it can make you blind.


  • I have never heard of cases where somebody got blind this way.
  • Often enough I have looked into the sun myself directly without noticeable consequences.

I am aware that an injury of blindness does not hurt and that blindness will only start in a little spot of the eye as the light is focuses on the retina.

My thoughts: Unlike a laser beam, the light of the sun which reaches the eye is not coherent and not as powerful.

  • I'm sure you'll soon get asked, so I'll tell you: You should post claims that state that looking at the sun can make you blind, check the meta for more information. :) – Alenanno Feb 4 '12 at 17:43
  • @Alenanno I assume you mean the FAQ - not meta, right? Well, I figured this was a common 'knowledge'. But if my question does not meet the FAQ standards, ok. :( – user6072 Feb 4 '12 at 18:17
  • The FAQ is posted on Meta. Your question was fine, it just had already been answered on this site before. Here is our policy on notability. – Sam I Am Feb 4 '12 at 18:22
  • @gentmatt: Also the FAQ yes, but I also meant the Meta, there you can find some topics about the references, claims and the like. :) But I see there was a similar question to yours. – Alenanno Feb 4 '12 at 18:22
  • @SamIAm Touché! I somehow overlooked this :) Thanks. – user6072 Feb 4 '12 at 18:26