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Scientists have discovered the oldest color in the world


Australian National University

Sophia Swinford - published on 08/07/18

You'd probably never guess this hue!

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What’s the oldest color in the world? It’s a question you probably didn’t even know to ask, but geologists out of Australia National University can now answer it for you. This team of researchers has recently discovered pigments that predate any others that have been found, and those pigments are bright pink.

That’s right, the color of bubblegum, cotton candy, and lipstick predates the next known pigment by over 500 million years. The pinkish colors themselves were most likely produced by ancient marine life, and when concentrated the shades can range from red to dark purple.

Dr. Nur Gueneli, the scientist who made the discovery as part of her PhD research, said in a news release, “The bright pink pigments are the molecular fossils of chlorophyll that were produced by ancient photosynthetic organisms inhabiting an ancient ocean that has long since vanished.”

Pink has long been dubbed the “female” color, but millions of years prior to this association bright pink was one of the first pigments ever to decorate the universe. One might quickly associate it with man-made objects, but it’s also the color of flamingos, roses, sunsets, and apparently ancient marine life.

So the next time you see bright pink, in the mall or on the TV, remember that this most ancient color has been decorating the world for millions of years before you even existed.

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