Scientifically, sunglasses protect our eyes from harmful UV rays but serve more than that. They can do everything from fashion to concealing deformities/hangover/shyness and maintaining a low profile. Here are some eye-opening sunglasses facts to make your day.

1. There Is a National Sunglasses Day

Marked every year on June 27, the National Sunglasses Day is a commemorative day set aside to celebrate the benefits of wearing ultraviolet (UV)-protective sunglasses and eyewear. People are encouraged to participate by posting on social media, spreading awareness of the items’ importance and stylishness.

2. Lori-Ann Keenan Holds the Record for the Largest Sunglass Collection

Canada’s Lori-Ann Keenan holds the record for the largest sunglass collection. The Vancouver-based collector had gathered 2,174 sunglasses in 2019, which she planned to sell and donate the proceeds to charity.

3. Some Sunglasses Are Very Expensive

The price of a pair of sunglasses varies depending on the brand, quality, and use. However, there are some whose prices are outrageous. For instance, the Chopard De Rigo Sunglasses cost upward of $400,000. Other costly pairs include Dolce & Gabbana DG2027B Sunglasses, CliC Gold 18 Carat Sport Sunglasses, and Luxuriator Style 23 Canary Diamond Sunglasses, each costing tens of thousands of dollars.

4. Sunglasses Have Various Informal Names

Depending on the location and culture, sunglasses have a variety of informal synonyms, with sunnies and shades being the most popular ones. Others include glecks, solar shields, sun specs, glares, glints, spekkies, sun cheaters, and dark glasses.

5. High Court Judges Used Sunglasses to Mask Their Facial Expressions

In the 12th century, judges in China wore sunglasses made from smoky quartz while in court to mask their facial expressions, driving the idea of impartiality.

6. Elton John Has An Impressive Sunglasses Collection

It’s not unusual for celebrities to rock sunglasses. However, very few can match Elton John’s (a British singer, composer, and pianist) collection. Besides having his eyewear line, the public figure reportedly has more than a thousand pairs of sunglasses in his collection. His love for these items started in the 70s. He has maintained the passion for over five decades and has an entire closet devoted to his beloved sunglasses.

7. They Are Won for Medical Purposes

While most people wear sunglasses for style and fashion, the items have medical benefits, too. The American Optometric Association recommends wearing sunglasses to prevent harmful ultraviolet radiation from reaching the eyes. In the UK, sunglasses are recommended after some surgical procedures, such as Lasik.

8. A Couple of Women Tried To Sneak a Dead Body into an Airplane By Placing Sunglasses on His Eyes

Two women once tried to smuggle the body of 91-year-old Curt Wolli Jarant into a Berlin-bound flight by placing sunglasses on his eyes. It was after the airport attendants tried to check him in that they noticed the wheelchair-ridden Jarant wasn’t responding, prompting them to raise the alarm. Despite their pleas and claims that they thought the man was sleeping, the two women were arrested and charged with failure to give notification of death.

9. Sunglasses Have Existed From Time Immemorial

Archaeological evidence shows that, during prehistoric times, the Inuit people had snow goggles of flattened walrus with narrow slits to see through and block harmful reflected sun rays. Over time, different versions of the items appeared, including those used by Antoine Lavoisier, a French chemist, in 1772.

10. Colored Sunglasses Were Created to Solve Color Blindness

First developed by James Ayscough, an English optician and designer, colored sunglasses were designed to aid people with color blindness. Today, they are more of fashion items than vision correction tools.

11. There Are International Standards for Sunglasses

Like most items, sunglasses have international standards that they must adhere to (ISO 12312). They are divided into three parts: sunglasses for filters for direct sun observation, sunglasses for active lifestyles such as cycling, and sunglasses for general use. Each of these has been published at different times over the past decade.

12. Cartier Sunglasses Were Detroit’s Status Symbol, Prompting Criminal Activities

Cartier Sunglasses, which can cost more than $2,500, were once Detroit’s status symbol and fashion trend, prompting criminal and violent assaults. According to police, more than nine people were killed between 2012 and 2016, with about 17 non-fatal shootings and over 2000 robberies involving the glasses reported.

13. Singer Gabrielle Wears Sunglasses to Cover Her Eye Suffering from Ptosis

Born Louise Gabrielle Bobb, Gabrielle is a British singer and songwriter synonymous with wearing an eyepatch or sunglasses in public. She was one of the top R&B and pop artists in the 90s and early 2000s. Gabrielle wears sunglasses to cover her eye, suffering from ptosis, where the upper eyelid droops over the eye.

14. Some Sunglasses Have Special Use

The primary function of sunglasses is to protect the eyes from harmful sunlight rays. However, thanks to the growth of technology, these items are helpful in different fields, including space activities, construction, sports, aircraft piloting, and land vehicle driving.

15. Sunglass Production Costs About 10 Dollars

Sunglass-producing companies like Oakley use less than 10 dollars to manufacture a pair before selling them for hundreds. On the contrary, the high prices can be explained by the high marketing costs and the money used for research and development. For such luxurious companies, they spend more marketing the product than producing it.

16. Roy Orbison Was Famous for His Dark Sunglasses

Roy Kelton Orbison was an American songwriter, performer, singer, and musician with a unique and passionate singing style. Besides his songs’ emotional ballads, Orbison was famous because of his dark sunglasses, which often matched his clothes and hair.

Interestingly, the legendary musician started wearing sunglasses after he forgot his eyeglasses on an airplane; he performed once in them and fell in love. Henceforth, he rarely performed without sunglasses, prompting some fans to think he was going blind, which wasn’t the case.

17. Wearing Sunglasses Was Once Associated with Syphilis

In the 19th century, patients suffering from syphilis wore sunglasses because one of the STDs’ symptoms is light sensitivity.

18. Sunglasses Have Several Parts

A standard sunglass has lenses, a nose bridge, and frames. These parts vary mainly because of style, with the most popular being aviators, brownlines, tea shades, wayfarers, wrap-around, and oversized ones.

19. Wayfarers Are Among the Best Selling Sunglasses

Some of the best sunglasses brands include Versace, Ray-Ban, Oakley, Burberry, Oliver Peoples, and Moscot. While all these brands have history, tradition, and class, Ray-Ban’s Wayfarers are among the best-selling sunglasses, thanks to Blue Brothers and Risky Business films that helped popularize them.

20. Sunglasses Are Prone to Breaking

Besides the risk of getting lost/forgotten, sunglasses are very fragile and prone to breaking. Studies show that a pair of sunglasses breaks every 14 minutes in the United States of America.

21. Most of the Luxurious Sunglass Frames Are Manufactured and Owned By Luxottica

Luxottica Group S.p.A is a Milan-based Italian eyewear conglomerate that designs, manufactures, distributes, and retails the most popular non-prescription luxurious sunglasses. It sells most of its products through its subsidiaries, consisting of heavyweights such as Giorgio Armani, Burberry, Versace, Prada, and Chanel.

22. There Is a Type of Sunglasses Called Teashade

Teashade is a type of sunglasses characterized by round lenses, pads-supported nose bridges, and thin wire frames. They were popularized by John Lennon and Ozzy Osbourne (an English singer and songwriter).

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Last Update: November 17, 2023