We see everything upside down (and then our brains flip the image right side up for us).

The lens of the eye casts an upside down imagine onto our retina and then our brains take these two upside down images at slightly different perspectives (one per eye) and creates a single right-side up image.[1][2][3]

Given that, one could argue that we don’t actually “see” the image upside. Instead, one might argue we receive the image upside down, but by the time we are done processing the image and actually “see” the image it is right side up.Still, in general, the above is how it works.

With that all in mind, you probably won’t be surprised to hear that processing visual information takes a lot of our brains’ processing power.

To get a full explainer of how our eyes work, check out the video below.

The Visual System: How Your Eyes Work.

FACT: We also “see” the world flat, but the two offset images we see and the light and shadowing allow us to perceive depth. So yeah, we see two upside down flat images that are slightly off from each other and the brain turns that into something useful. Very cool brain.


Arguments that the image we process is actually what we “see” aside, the images of the world cast on our retina are upside down and slightly off from each other and then our brains process the image for us. This allows us to see depth and to see the world as it is, right side up.


  1. How do we see things upright if the image formed on the retina in our eye is an inverted one? Physlink.com.
  2. How do we see things upright if the image formed on the retina in our eye is an inverted one? ScientificAmerican.com.
  3. Depth Perception VeryWellHealth.com.

"We See Everything Upside Down" is tagged with: Eyesight, Human Brain, Perception

Vote Fact or Myth: "We See Everything Upside Down"

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Asher Wade on
Doesn't beleive this myth.

By stating, ”We See Everything Upside Down”, you have placed yourself in ‘check’ [Chess lingo] already, because the presupposition of the ωοrδ ”see” {etymologically in Latin} means ‘understanding’, which the Mind does not [yet] do.

Regarding the photons at the ”see-able” frequency in the electromagnetic spectrum, it is true that the reflected light bouncing off of objects, passes through the lens of our eyes and turns the rays of light so as to land upon the Optic disc ‘upside down’, but at this stage, we do not yet ‘understand; i.e. ”see” it.

It is then, in combination with our sense of touch/feeling as well as with the balance and orientation provided by the Vestibular Chamber in our Inner Ear, that the Mind experiences the cerebral neurons ‘firing’ an ”image” of said object to correspond to the touch/feeling and distance/extension of multiple combinations and permutations of previous experiences of this object to ”kNOw” this object, deal with it, handle it, and how to approach it without danger or harm.

Thomas DeMichele on

Yeah, so probably this should be we “see” (depending on your definition of “see;” but also see the arguments below) everything upside down. But like, kind of want people to actually click on the article and read without having to have the headline contain a bunch of qualifying arguments. Will take a look though. 😉

Nice arguments though.