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Monday, October 24, 2016

There is more to colors than Roy G. Biv. The colors we all learned about in grade school have a much more bizarre and, dare I say it, 'colorful' history than we ever knew!

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Today's Random Fact:

Did anyone tell you when you were a kid that too many carrot sticks would turn your skin orange? It's true! (Sort of). Hypercarotenemia, or carotenosis, is a yellowy orange discoloration of the skin caused by high levels of carotene in the blood, the result of eating a LOT of vitamin A.

'Pink' once meant 'yellow.' We know, it's confusing. See, Dutch 'pink' was a yellow pigment; but because 'pink' also means a frilled edge, it became closely associated with the dianthus flower, which has notched petals. And what's the most common color for dianthus flowers? You guessed it: pink.

Bonus Fact:

For thousands of years, green was a tricky pigment to nail down, but the 19th century saw the rise of two stable and incredibly popular green dyes. There was just one problem: Both were laced with arsenic. At the time, the health risks of arsenic exposure were unknown, but before long, doctors and newspapers began attributing illnesses to green-wallpapered rooms. (There is even a theory that arsenic-laced wallpaper helped do in Napoleon.)

Isn't indigo basically blue? Why is it even in Roy G. Biv? We have Isaac Newton to thank for this one: He wanted the number of colors in the spectrum to match Rene Descartes' seven-tone musical scale, and indigo brought the color count to seven.

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