A giant eyeball is a Web craze, so what do you call the stuff inside the ball?

Sometimes the Internet community gets a little twitterpated about random stuff. In this case, a 30-foot sculpture of an eyeball in Chicago has transmogrified artist Tony Tasset into an online celebrity. Web searches on “giant eyeball” went bananas. Let’s use this eye mania as an excuse to take a look at some of the wonderful names for the parts of our beloved lamps. Like the zonule of Zinn.

What keeps the eyeball round? Well, it isn’t technically a sphere. Simply put, there a few kinds of gunk surrounded by three coatings that prevent the eye from running out like a horror film nightmare.

The gelatinous substance that makes up the rear ball of the eye is the vitreous humor (vitreous means “resembling glass.”) The fluid near the front of your eye (between the lens and the cornea) is the aqueous humor. The vitreous and aqueous sections are separated by the iris, and other muscle fibers. This goopy stuff  keeps your eyes healthy.

The sclera, or white of your eye, is an outer coat to all the fluids. Two other coats, the choroid and the retina, take care of blood flow and (of course) vision.

The goo of the vitreous only connects to the retina in three places. Six incredibly strong muscles, the recti, allow us to roll our eyes, look cross-eyed, you name it. This provides an excuse to mention one of the greatest body part terms in the language: the zonule of Zinn. A zonule is simply “a little zone, belt, band, or the like.” Sounds like a cute accessory to add to your wardrobe. In this case, the zonule of Zinn is a ring of fibrous muscles that connect the lens to the adjacent muscles, the ciliary body.

Johann Gottfried Zinn just happens to be the German doctor from the 1700s lucky enough to be immortalized in anatomy textbooks with a name that sounds like something out of Dr. Seuss.


  1. wolf tamer and iron miner -  March 12, 2014 - 3:24 am

    Giant eyeball? Gross! :P

  2. wbcn -  July 3, 2012 - 5:47 am

    Really great this. THx

    • RedLeafRenegade -  October 22, 2015 - 7:19 am

      That made me think of JackSepticEye

      :) :) :) : ) :) : ) :) :)

  3. cna training -  July 17, 2010 - 10:47 am

    Great information! I’ve been looking for something like this for a while now. Thanks!

  4. budsdiana -  July 12, 2010 - 2:10 am

    @ goggle eyed

    my thoughts exactly, ha!ha!ha!

    But kidding aside this article kinda interest me, just because my mom is scheduled for an eye check-up and probably an operation due to glaucoma, any time soon, she is 79 yeras old. *

  5. hksche2000 -  July 11, 2010 - 10:06 pm

    Each ZONULA ZINNI is a fibril stretching from the capsule of the lens to the ciliary muscle that, by way of the iris, controls the size of the pupil. The entirety of all ZONULAE ZINNI, which surround the perimeter of lens in a circular fashion, together form the suspensory ligament of the lens keeping the lens centered behind the iris/pupil at all times.

  6. harvey -  July 10, 2010 - 11:24 pm

    ekkkkkkkkkkkkkkk!!!! agreed, Miranda! i happened to be eating while i read it – will never eat another white choc timtam in my life! achully, i just ate another one then… i think that one didnt wrk – i mite have to try another way to get rid of my addiction!

  7. Maryanne-Sydney -  July 10, 2010 - 1:22 pm

    I wake up of a morning and read this site first thing. Thank you..so interesting. MQ

  8. SumMary -  July 10, 2010 - 12:07 pm

    Dr. KMFW/Rupert L.T.Rhyme,
    How about a blog called “Iris’s Vitreus Humor”?
    Or is that cock-eyed notion too far outta sight?

  9. DrKevin -  July 10, 2010 - 10:37 am

    cornea? Is it now a more northerly foot wart?

    pupils? Are they “old school” now?

    Eyesight = a sense of humors.
    Dr. KMFW

  10. Patsy -  July 10, 2010 - 8:31 am

    Really enjoyed this. Tks

  11. Robin ~ PENSIEVE -  July 10, 2010 - 6:46 am

    How much do I love seizing opportunity to make this EDUCATIONAL?! {a lot!}

    And I had no idea the buzz Eye would generate, but I knew it was something to write about–it’s included as my first picture on my post about our recent visit to the Windy City!!


    Love it! :)

  12. EYE BALL | BLOGCHI@mayopia.com -  July 10, 2010 - 3:45 am

    [...] GIANT EYEBALL — FEEBLE — SINEW — SNUFF — “INFLIGHT REFUELER” — There ya have it the gist of our list ending with Urban’s ” “INFLIGHT REFUELER” — We start with that because later that’s where we be At with people we knew back when after being a high schooler. — Last year we went there and “Left Nut Jimmie” was there — the right one he lost on a Fin — It wasn’t a bet but the street was wet when he dove for to catch a football — On A Chevy or Dodge his right nut did lodge and it’s better than losing an href=”http://hotword.dictionary.com/?p=687″>EYEBALL — Or is it? — Not many rubbed SNUFF — but they did other stuff — There were many an a href=”http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=Inflight%20Refueler&defid=5071639″>”INFLIGHT REFUELER” — We played football back then — the American trend — Though in soccer in East B’More they were never that FEEBLE — They were all plenty tough with enough SINEW to SNUFF the competition especially in Drinking. — For now we’re on call and this is surely no stall but our routine is to end with the GIANT EYEBALL.–>>Rupert L.T.Rhyme [...]

  13. smiley -  July 10, 2010 - 3:09 am

    i am ;) :) @)

  14. Marco -  July 10, 2010 - 2:00 am

    well, all my eye is on you

  15. Miranda -  July 10, 2010 - 1:57 am

    Yet another reason I shouldn’t eat while on the computer. Yuck!

    Interesting, though. I love these!

  16. goggle eyed -  July 10, 2010 - 12:36 am

    eye am LOL…what a goopy article…what ‘humor’ went into the writing of it i go cross eyed just reading it…*rolls eyes*


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