Bats and blind people can use the same simple physics to see

"Blind as a bat" no more.

 

Rae Votta

IRL

Published Dec 22, 2014   Updated May 29, 2021, 10:23 pm CDT

For some blind individuals, sound can become a way to see the world around them through a process called echolocation.

A new BuzzFeed video profiles Daniel Kish, who lost his sight just after his first birthday. Kish uses and teaches echolocation, or what he calls Flash Sonar, a technique by which humans create sounds like tongue clicks and then interpret the sound waves reflected by objects in their proximity. The process is similar to the techniques animals such as dolphins or bats use to see the world around them.

His echolocation skills are so effective, Kish can even ride bikes and discern not just shapes, but specific items around him, like the layout of a basketball court and where a hoop would be located. The video ends with  an echolocation lesson, showing how quickly a blind person can start to pick up on the technique when given the opportunity.

“Blind as a bat” no more.

Screengrab via BuzzFeedBlue/YouTube

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*First Published: Dec 22, 2014, 4:34 pm CST