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Historical Events  Science
Leonardo Da Vinci

Not the contact lenses we know today

MMDE: Leonardo Da Vinci did not invent contact lenses

Current: Leonardo Da Vinci invented contact lenses

The idea of contact lenses seems like a modern medical advancement.

As it happens, in 1508 none other than Leonardo Da Vinci described the concept in great detail in his "Codex of the eye, Manual D".

They weren't the small modern eye lenses we know today, but the description proves he was perfectly well aware of the properties of light refraction, and the mechanism required to tune it for vision using a contact substance, his case water.

He wasn't doing this to correct faulty vision, but to enhance what the eye could already see, much in the same way a telescope does.

Water bowls

Da Vinci described various ways to achieve the intended results. including putting your head in a bucket of water, or using water filled globes attached to the eyes.

Here is the illustration he made in his Codex manual:

da vinci contact lens 750x291

Ahead of his time again

Helicopters, tanks, the parachute, machine guns and the first robot. Da Vinci (who features in other Mandela Effects) was an endless source of original innovation