Magenta Isn’t a Real Color

October 6, 2020 at 9:00 am Leave a comment

We’re all familiar with magenta—it’s a kind of purplish-red that exists between blue and red on color wheels.

It’s one of four base colors used in printers to make other colors—along with black, cyan, and yellow. Interestingly, though, magenta isn’t a real color—our brain just makes it seem like it is.

Every color has a specific place in the wavelength, similar to what you see when you look at a rainbow. Magenta isn’t in rainbows, however, and there is no wavelength for the color. So why do we see it? Most colors when mixed, average together into a color that makes sense—green and red, for example, become yellow. Yellow is the average wavelength between those two colors. The average wavelength between red and purple, however, is actually green! Our brain doesn’t like that—green doesn’t “look like” the average between red and purple. Thus, our brain makes up magenta, a color that “makes sense” to us. The reason why magenta shows up on the color wheel is that, unlike a rainbow, the color wheel is circular—causing red and purple (which are at opposite sides of the wavelength) to touch.

Color wheels may not accurately represent the physics of photons, but they do accurately represent the philosophical reality: color is a human construct that helps us interpret wavelengths to better understand our world. It’s hard to say what everything really looks like.

Broken Secrets – Email | Facebook | Twitter

Image: Jonathan Cutrer (public domain)

Source: Medium

Entry filed under: Demystified. Tags: , , , .

Zebra Stripes Confuse Biting Insects

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Trackback this post  |  Subscribe to the comments via RSS Feed


Follow Broken Secrets

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 5,414 other followers

Big Awards


Best Personal Blog/Website (People's Voice)


W3 Award - Copy Writing

Categories

Featured by…

• Yahoo
• Business Insider
• NPR
• BBC
• Smithsonian Magazine
• USA Today
• AskMen (and many more...)

Contact Info


%d bloggers like this: