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Eclipse glasses

The mechanist wore eclipse glasses during the solar eclipse on the Day of Black Sun.

Eclipse glasses were a form of eyewear invented by the mechanist. During the invasion of the Fire Nation, they allowed the invading soldiers to observe the solar eclipse safely without damaging their eyes.[1]

History

Sokka commissioned the mechanist to produce these special glasses so that when the invasion force invaded the Fire Nation on the Day of Black Sun, they could observe the eclipse safely as a means of keeping track of time.[2] The mechanist produced hundreds of these glasses for the members of the invasion force. When the troops were making their way up the slopes of the caldera in the Fire Nation Capital, the mechanist warned them that the eclipse was starting and ordered them to cover their eyes with the eclipse glasses.[1]

Design

The glasses are made of leather and, although they are referred to as glasses, do not actually contain any glass. The slits block the sun's glare while still allowing the user to see. They are reminiscent of eyewear used by some desert or arctic cultures to reduce glare and offer protection from sandstorms or snowstorms. The sandbenders in the Si Wong Desert wore similar eyewear.[3]

Trivia

  • Aesthetically, these glasses are similar to eyewear created by the Inuit and Yupik peoples to protect against excess light reflected off the snowy landscape.
  • The only ones who did not wear eclipse glasses were Aang, Sokka, and Toph, who were searching for Fire Lord Ozai's underground bunker, which was hidden in a nearby volcano.[1]
  • Real eclipse glasses are used for safely viewing a solar eclipse before and after totality, rather than during totality as they are used in the show.[4]

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Ehasz, Aaron (writer) & Dos Santos, Joaquim (director). (November 30, 2007). "The Day of Black Sun, Part 2: The Eclipse". Avatar: The Last Airbender. Season 3. Episode 11. Nickelodeon.
  2. From older Avatar: The Last Airbender official site, originally on Nick.com (link). No longer updated, encyclopedia now broken though archived here.
  3. O'Bryan, John (writer) & Volpe, Giancarlo (director). (July 14, 2006). "The Library". Avatar: The Last Airbender. Season 2. Episode 10. Nickelodeon.
  4. B. Ralph Chou, MSc, OD. Eye safety during solar eclipses. Retrieved on September 4, 2015.

See also