The Oldest Colour Revealed! For February 2019

Colour Story

Did you know that the scientists have discovered the world's oldest colour? It is none other than bright pink! Apart from being the oldest colour in existence, these bright pink molecules also shed light on the evolution of life.

Although the Earth is 4.6 billion years old, it is proven that large complex creatures only appeared about 600 million years ago and this 1.1 billion-year-old pigments were made by microscopic creatures. Interesting, isn’t it?

This insight was shared by researcher, Dr. Nur Gueneli, who discovered the pigments as part of her PhD studies at Australia National University. Her team discovered this colour in 1.1-billion-year-old rocks deep beneath the Sahara Desert in the Taoudeni Basin of Mauritania, West Africa. Fascinating, isn’t it? The researchers crushed these billion-year-old rocks into powder, extracted and analyzed the molecules of ancient organisms within them and discovered this colour.

It is also stated by Nur that these 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. This insight also sheds light on why larger creatures developed relatively slowly.

Dr. Gueneli stated that her first reaction was of sheer amazement when she saw the pink colouring in the crushed rocks. She said that her team thought that the rock powder would turn black when they were doing their experiments on it, however they turned pink. The rocks could contain other colours, from a blood red to a deep purple too. Gueneli explained how important this discovery was.

In her words, “Imagine you could find a fossilized dinosaur skin that still has its original colour - green or blue. That is exactly the type of discovery that we've made." Isn’t that exciting?

In words of senior researcher Jochen Brocks, “When held against the sunlight, they are actually neon pink.” “At first I thought it had been contaminated. It is just amazing that something with a biological colour can survive for such a long time.”

So, next time you see a bubble gum, a flamingo or a cotton candy in bright pink, don’t forget that it is the world's oldest colour!

Also, if you are inspired now, adding pink in a small space, like on the wall of a foyer can make a stunning statement without too much investment. You can use this gorgeous shade to spruce up a lackluster space as well.

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