People who remove the lens of their eye (mostly as a treatment for cataracts) are called aphakic.
… Aphakic patients report … an unusual side effect: they can see ultraviolet light. It is not normally visible because the lens blocks it. Some artificial lenses are also transparent to UV with the same effect. The receptors in the eye for blue light can actually see ultraviolet better than blue. Military intelligence is said to have used this talent in the second world war, recruiting aphakic observers to watch the coastline for German U-boats signalling to agents on the shore with UV lamps.
An illustration of how ultraviolet appears is provided by the Impressionist painter Claude Monet. Following cataract surgery in 1923, his colour palette changed significantly; after the operation he painted water lilies with more blue than before. This may be because after lens removal he could see ultraviolet light, which would have given a blue cast to the world.
—From Let the light shine in, an article in The Guardian
This blows my mind. Wether I need it or not, I will have this procedure done in my lifetime. I’m not kidding. When I’m an old man, I will voluntarily remove the lens of one of my eyes so that I can see ultraviolet. I will not wait for cataracts to justify it. I’m just going to do it. It’s going to be awesome.
Just so we’re extra clear here, this is not some Generation Y ironic overstatement for comedic effect. I am going to do this.
Thanks to Kottke for bringing this to my attention.