Innate Night Vision is a type of Super Senses
that allows a character or species to see significantly better in the dark than normal humans. It normally comes in one of two flavors: Either the character's ability to see low levels of the normal visible light spectrum is enhanced (low-light vision), or the character is able to see into the infra-red spectrum as well, sometime described as seeing heat. (It should be noted that "near-infrared" light behaves similar to ordinary, human-visible light, while it's "far-infrared" light that is heat vision.)
This ability is common among many fictional creatures, especially those that live underground or are based in part on Real Life
animals that also have excellent night vision. It is also something that many humans might acquire through Magic and Powers
. For example, an Animal-Themed Superbeing
with an Animal Motif
of related to a species known for its low light vision, such as cats or wolves, is likely to have this ability. In such cases, it may overlap with Animal Eyes
See also Night-Vision Goggles
for when this is accomplished through artificial means.
This is Truth in Television
for many Real Life
animals, however given that it would be impracticable the large number of species this could apply to, No Real Life Examples, Please!
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- Legion of Super-Heroes:
- Night Girl comes from a planet that is in perpetual darkness, so she has no problem seeing in the dark. A good thing because her Super Strength only works in the dark.
- Shadow Lass can generate fields of darkness and has no problem seeing in her own darkness or a natural one.
Films — Animation
Films — Live-Action
- The Chronicles of Riddick: The main character, Richard B. Riddick, is able to see in the dark at the cost of oversensitivity in daylight conditions, necessitating his near-permanent use of welding goggles. In Pitch Black this allowed him to assist a stranded starship crew in escaping from a predator-filled world during an extended solar eclipse. In that movie he claims that he paid a surgeon in prison for the enhancement, but this is later retconned as a supernatural ability.
Live Action TV
- In Dungeons & Dragons, darkvision and lowlight vision special qualities that a wide variety of species have. Low-light vision is the ability to see better than normal in low levels of light, while darkvision allows creatures to see in total darkness, but only in black and white and for limited distances.
- In Warhammer 40,000, the Night Lords Chaos Space Marines can see perfectly in pitch darkness, and can even see into the infrared.
- In The Elder Scrolls the cat-like Khajiit have this as one of their their racial traits. Any character who becomes a vampire also gains the ability in the games where this is possible.
- In Ultima Online, nightsight is a valuable ability temporarily granted by either a spell or potion, allowing you to see clearly in dungeons, without the limited range of visibility that comes from carrying a lantern or torch. Nightsight is also intrinsically granted to elves and vampires.
- BIONICLE: Onu-Matoran naturally have this ability, which is important given they mostly live underground.