Impossible Colors

Again, this might all seem a bit out there, but America’s most lovable evil geniuses have known about this for years. Walt Disney World took advantage of this effect in their design of the EPCOT park, making the pavements a particular shade of pink that tires out the red receptors and forces the park’s grass to look greener than it really is. On second thought, I’m not sure that makes this seem any less out there.

When I was five or so I tried to imagine a color previously undiscovered but couldn’t do it

From what I gather it is kind of like this…

When you first turn the lights off it seems pitch black… then the pupils dilate and the more of the diminished amount of light is let it in…

In a similar way the rods and cones themselves in the eye also adjust.

So you look at a very blue object until your eyes adjust to it… and then you switch to a yellow and briefly see a color that shouldn’t exist. The color returned when the cones that determine the blue to yellow value are neutralized to a state that is both blue and yellow. One would assume that’d be green, but light is different than pigments.

Works between red and green as well…

Start with shades then work your way up…you’ll hit it eventually.

Different cultures actually perceive colors differently. There is a tribe who doesn’t have any word for the color blue, and they can’t differentiate it from green. But they have many different words for green, and are able to easily distinguish between shades of green that western people can’t tell apart. Fascinating stuff.

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That’s hella cool to read about.

I think the modern frame of mind sees the backdrop of things to either be white, like a piece of paper, or black, like the night sky… but we have paper that we fill with colors and objects… and also we understand that space is predominantly empty and dark and our sky is a very very very small part of the larger picture of our environment.

Without the understanding of the “heavens” or even that the world was round and perhaps even knowing that there was ground at the bottom of the ocean… blue might have occupied the backdrop space as not being a color, but symbolizing the void which was the reference for everything else…

Interesting stuff… especially the green square that was different… I couldn’t tell at all.

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