Scientists have discovered that the eyes of the mantis shrimp (pictured) possess a feature that could make DVDs and CDs perform better than ever before.
According to the journal Nature:
Nicholas Roberts and colleagues discovered that the wave plate in the mantis shrimp's eye has an elegant design which includes an incredible level of achromaticity, meaning that it performs well at all visible wavelengths, ranging from blue to red — a task that has eluded man-made designs. The wave plate is formed in the photoreceptors in the mantis shrimp's eye, which contain a densely packed bundle of specially designed tubes. The study reveals that it is this specific geometry and material of the tubes that lead to the incredible performance of the wave plate.
By emulating this structure, technology developers could create what the study authors call "an entirely new category of optical devices."
via Nature Photonics