You may know that Superman is a strange visitor from another planet with powers and abilities far beyond those of mortal men, but did you know that there was a reason why Superman was all-powerful on Earth and what was the science behind his ‘superpowers’. The Seeing Through Walls book in the Superman Science series tackles one aspect of his many superpowers as Superman takes you on a journey of Sight beyond Sight, in his own way.

In this book, author Agnieszka Biskup talks about the many animals — insects, birds or even mammals — whose sight is better than the rest. She does that in a simple style, never deviating from the fact that the readers are young, fans of Superman and must be taught in a fun manner than in a preachy one. Each page of this book has relevant images, the narrative is simple and you end up wiser once you move to the next one.

If you didn’t know what Iris was, or how does cornea work and what makes retina such an important feature of a human eye, look no further as this book makes you understand the mechanism behind the eye. If there was no eye, then there would have been nothing else in the world but for some animals, having no eye isn’t a disadvantage as this book tells us. Who are these animals and how they survive in the dark, let Superman explain that to you.

Then there is the most important aspect of sight — colour. You may have heard of people who couldn’t distinguish between colours and that is a defect, not a choice. Lenses can help you see better but there are more to lenses than it meets the eye. Microscopes help us study things that are not visible to the naked eye; telescopes help us study the planets as well as the galaxy and without them, life would have been dull. This book also tells you that when the first X-ray was shown to the patient, she exclaimed that she had seen her death, but since then it has become an integral part of our medical community and has helped save lives by revealing the injury without operating on the patient.

So the next time a friend tells you that Superman’s ‘night’ vision isn’t really a thing or the ‘heat’ vision isn’t possible, tell him it is because the former is what makes some animals attack their prey at night while the latter is used by the military to determine the number of people in a specified location. This book also explains why Superman can’t see beyond lead making him vulnerable against the element. It’s time we move onto other powers of Superman, those that make him the greatest Superhero in the world. Up, up and away!

Published in Dawn, Young World, February 9th, 2019

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