• Question: why do we have eyelashes?

    Asked by 8074pd to Hywel, Joseph, Poonam on 25 Jun 2010 in Categories: .
    • Photo: Joseph Cook

      Joseph Cook answered on 24 Jun 2010:

      I think they just protect our eyes by stopping dust and sweat and stuff from getting into them.

    • Photo: Dr Hywel Jones

      Dr Hywel Jones answered on 25 Jun 2010:

      Good question, perhaps a human biologist would be better at answering this.
      From a common sense perspective though I guess it is to help keep our eyes free from dirt and contamination. Small particles, flies etc get trapped by the eyelashes.
      Most mammals seem to have eyelashes, can you think of any animals who don’t and how do they protect their eyes?
      Its interesting that they are seen by humans as a sign of attractiveness in the female, hence why the use of mascara is so prevalent. Big eye leashes are, for some evolutionary reason, seen as attractive in a woman.