Google Searches From The Eclipse Reveal That People Ignored 1 Key Piece Of Advice

Yesterday, the world experienced a total solar eclipse. While most eclipses happen over the ocean, this one largely covered land across Mexico, the United States and Canada.

People travelled to experience the eclipse as it happened in what was genuinely a beautifully communal human event.

There was just one minor problem and it had nothing to do with the sun or the moon.

One thing we know about eclipses, if nothing else, is that you can’t look at them directly. As science educator Hank Green said: “If you stare at [the eclipse] for just a little too long, you will burn your retina, you will have to go to the doctor, you may never get your vision all the way back.”

Of course, people did not take this sage advice.

Google searches following the 2024 eclipse

According to Google Trends data, at around exactly the time that the eclipse took place, there was a huge spike in people searching ‘my eyes hurt’. This boost in searches was mostly from Vermont, Michigan, Ohio, and Arkansas. All of those were on the main path of the eclipse.

Searches for
Searches for "my eyes hurt" on Google Trends following 2024 eclipse Google Trends

Social media users were quick to notice this increasing trend with TikTok user TuesdayHasNoFeel sharing the data and saying sardonically: “Congratulations everyone, we’ve done it.”

One commenter added: “I had to explain to my coworkers who have DOCTORATES why they shouldn’t look at the eclipse without glasses”

Woman described damage to her eyes following looking at an eclipse

Speaking on TikTok, user Bridget (@IAmBridgeet) said that during an eclipse in 2017, she closed her right eye and stared at the sun for a good 10-15 seconds and didn’t think anything of it at the time.

However, the next day, she woke up, tried to read on her phone but she couldn’t read ‘every other word’ due to a blind spot over the words.

As she tried to get on with her day, she simply couldn’t see many things. As she tried to drive to her opticians, she couldn’t see signs on the roads.

Surprisingly, there wasn’t actually damage done directly to her cornea. However, parts of her eye are now distorted and she has damaged her vision.

She urged: “Don’t be like me and that orange man”, referencing former president Donald Trump who did... the exact same thing in 2017.

Well, indeed!