I creepy people out when I close my eyes
December 9, 2006 1:59 PM   Subscribe

Why do my eyes turn into creepy white slivers when I close them (but not sleeping)?

I was told by someone that my eyes are a white sliver when I close them, ie. to kiss. I didn't know I did that before. I didn't believe them until I took a photo of myself doing it, and made a "video" and it's totally creepy. What causes this? I don't think I do it when sleeping (checked a few photos). When I shut them really hard, it doesn't happen.

I googled and just came up with Eye Wide Shut (the movie) results. Am I rolling my eyeballs back or something?
posted by lpctstr; to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (8 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
When you close your eyes voluntarily, your eyes roll upward. This is known as the Bell phenomenon, named for the person who first described it.
posted by ikkyu2 at 2:36 PM on December 9, 2006 [4 favorites]

Allow me to be the first to say it:
This thread is useless without creepy pictures.
posted by xiojason at 3:11 PM on December 9, 2006

creepy pictures
posted by atrazine at 3:18 PM on December 9, 2006

Everyone rolls their eyes back, like ikkyu2 says, but you aren't closing yours all the way. I don't know why... can you do it if you try? Is it physically impossible, or just a matter of habit?
posted by crabintheocean at 3:31 PM on December 9, 2006

Response by poster: Here's what they look like:

posted by lpctstr; at 4:30 PM on December 9, 2006

Response by poster: I guess my last sentence wasn't clear. If I shut my eyes really hard, they do shut completely.

crabintheocean: I can close them all the way when I'm sleeping, if when I push them close a little harder.
posted by lpctstr; at 4:32 PM on December 9, 2006

It looks like (a) you're rolling your eyes back, as ikkuyu2 described, and (b) there just isn't enough eyelid to fit easily over the eye. Maybe once you push them closed sleeping, they stick together just a bit, which helps them stay closed overnight? I wonder if you could learn to do that automatically (push closed just a bit harder) if it's freaking out a kissing partner?
posted by LobsterMitten at 8:34 PM on December 9, 2006

Regarding sleeping, I believe that when you are asleep your lower eyelid relaxes more than when you just close your eyes awake (that's how it seems to me as I drift off or am very tired ).
posted by tomble at 6:57 PM on December 10, 2006

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