"Wellness Guru" Says Staring Into The Sun Is "One Of The Best Forms Of Free Medicine"

Pete Evans / Instagram. Published here under fair use: Criticism.

A celebrity "wellness guru" and proponent of the Paleo diet (the "caveman" diet that might harm you and isn't even historically accurate) has told his hundreds of thousands of followers about the enormous medical benefits of staring directly into the Sun.

Writing on Instagram, Australian chef Pete Evans said that staring into the Sun was part of his day-to-day health regimen.

"Everyday I love to immerse myself in an experience within the cleansing ocean water as well as a brief gaze into the radiant light of the early rising or late setting Sun," so far, so stupid.

"These simple, yet powerful practices have got to be two of the best forms of free medicine on the planet for body, mind and spirit."

Accompanying the advice was a picture of him staring directly into the Sun, in case you didn't know what that looked like.

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Concerningly, several followers said they will be ignoring all the warnings and following his advice.

"Interesting. I’m years in of having a vitamin D deficiency that I am trying to fix. I will try this. Thank you," one Instagram follower wrote.

"Vit D best absorbed into the eyes," another commenter said, inaccurately.

"I am an eye doctor," a person purporting to be an eye doctor replied on Twitter, "and that is not accurate."

Pete – oh god what is wrong with our species – isn't the only person claiming that staring into the Sun has health benefits.

The practice is so widespread in the "hey this dumb thing will improve your health" community, it even has its own name – "sungazing". Do not Google this term, unless you want to fall down a rabbit hole of videos of topless men claiming the Sun gave them "stronger eyes, improved vision, reduced appetite and cravings. More joy and happiness" through their corneas.

As well as not having any medical benefits, staring into the Sun could cause massive damage, as people found out after last year's eclipse.

Light triggers chemical reactions in the back of your eyes. It's a good thing, and this is why you can see. However introduce too much light into your eyes, e.g. by staring directly at a big ball of flames, and you can burn your retina as those chemical reactions are pushed to their limit, and you could end up with a condition called solar retinopathy

Solar retinopathy isn't pretty, and definitely doesn't have any medical benefits. SUE FORD/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Pete has a history of doling out bad medical information. A few years ago, he made headlines by suggesting that sunscreen is poisonous.

"The silly thing is people put on normal chemical sunscreen then lay out in the Sun for hours on end and think that they are safe because they have covered themselves in poisonous chemicals," he said in a Facebook Q&A, "which is a recipe for disaster as we are witnessing these days."

Instead why not head out into the Sun wearing no protection and have a nice, long stare.

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