Select the search type
  • Site
  • Web

The natural world. Looking pretty for 3.5b years.

The Colors of the Rainbow

The Colors of the Rainbow

Author: Reilly Capps/Friday, March 21, 2014/Categories: marine life

How do I know what you see? How do I know that we see the same things? How do I know that what I see as a red stop sign you see as a red stop sign, and not as a color I call purple or green or some other color I've never conceived of? 

On one level, I don't. You could be seeing a technicolor dream world, and I might live in Pleasantville. 

We know not everyone sees the world the same. Dogs can't see red. They stumble around in a blue-green-yellow world. Poor dogs. Their world is darker, duller. How do they stay so happy? It's because they don't know they're missing out on red. 

We might not be the luckiest ones. Mantis shrimp might see more than we do. Where we see, essentially, six colors, it seemed possible that mantis shrimp see thousands of colors. This revelation spurred this Radiolab episode which spurred this comic by The Oatmeal. Mantis shrimp have superpowers. 

But, maybe not. This scientific study dulls the picture once again. This article says maybe mantis shrimp can't see more colors than we do. They just see the same colors in a different way. 

So foo. And yay. We might not be missing out in much after all. 

- Reilly Capps

Number of views (3003)/Comments (0)

Please login or register to post comments.