"My brother is too kind. He was eminent when my eminence was only imminent." -Niles Crane
Question #91603 posted on 01/07/2019 6:22 p.m.

Dear 100 Hour Board,

If you’re invisible, can you see yourself? What are your opinions?



Dear Tipperary,

First of all, I am terribly sorry for holding this over a ridiculous amount of time. I would be lying if I claimed it had nothing to do with the fact that you're a writer, and so I knew you wouldn't be offended (horribly) by the long delay... but sorry anyways. 

Alright now, let's finally answer this.

It depends on the method of invisibility. If your invisibility is due to an external cause, I'm inclined to think you could see yourself (like Harry Potter's cloak), while if it's internal, then you can't (like the Invisible Man). But then you have cases of small objects--like, say, a ring--that turn their wearer's invisible. In this case, if the small object actually made your body invisible, then you wouldn't be able to see yourself; otherwise, you would. 

Man, I thought I'd have so much more to say than this... but turns out I don't. 

Happy New Years, and may all your future questions be answered much more promptly!



Dear Tupperware, 

I sure hope I'd be able to see myself or else I'd probably stub my toes and trip on things enough that it would be embarrassing. If I was supposed to be doing something superhero-y or mission-oriented it would be pretty bad if I kept stubbing my toes and yelping out in pain. Very ineffective. My hand-eye/foot-eye/body-eye coordination is already terrible, can you even imagine how bad it would be if I couldn't even see myself??? 

Regardless of what other stories of invisibility suggest, I say you can always see yourself or it would be impossible to get anything done when you're invisible.



posted on 01/07/2019 8:43 p.m.
Hello Kitty,

Wow I rarely check the board anymore but I felt inspired to and this happened to be the most recent post AND I JUST SO HAPPEN TO HAVE A CORRECTION THAT IS COMPLETELY NECESSARY! But first: how do I know this information? Well it just so happens one of my favorite books growing up discussed a bunch of random science-y type stuff and it just so happened to discuss this very question.

Now for the answer: if you were invisible, you could not see yourself. Why? Because you wouldn't be able to see anything. If you were invisible then photons would pass through you without being reflected, refracted, or disturbed in any other way. This means they could not activate the photoreceptors in your eyes and no information would be passed on to your brain, thus no visual perception would occur.

posted on 01/07/2019 10:51 p.m.
Correction on the correction:
Great point! definitely hadn't thought about it in that way before. However, invisibility can happen* in ways besides the passing of of photons. If the person achieved invisibility through active camouflage, photons are being bounced and the invisible person would not be able to see themselves, but would still be able to see the rest of their surroundings.