Thanks to today's Google homepage, we can all learn about a famous Arab (or perhaps Persian, history is fickle as his exact origin is disputed) that we've all probably never heard about: Alhazen.

To save you a bit of reading, I've gone ahead and listed some fascinating facts below. Yalla, its history time.

Contributions: Known most for his eye opening (pun intended) work on optics, Alhazen made several observations and theories about the concept of sight, eye structure, image formation and the visual system. Like all great minds of his time, Alhazen was also a notable polymath (aka Renaissance man or dude who is super well versed in multiple disciplines), mathematician, astronomer and philosopher. He also made considerable improvements to the scientific method and physical science.

Background: Alhazen was born circa 965, in Basra (now known as Iraq), and lived most of his life in Cairo, Egypt. At that time, Baghdad and Cairo were considered world centers of learning.

Fun fact: Amusingly enough, Alhazen was hired by the Fatimid Caliphate ruler, Al-Hakim bi-Amr Allah, to regulate the flooding of the Nile. Initially, Alhazen assumed his intellect and study of mathematics would render the feat doable, but after some time, he decided it was impractical, and feigned madness to escape the wrath of Al-Hakim. For 10 years, Alhazen was put under house arrest until Al-Hakim's death in 1021.

Spotted: Arab Philosopher Makes Google Homepage

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