Skip To Content

    15 Things You Probably Never Knew About Colors That Will Make You Say "WHAT?"

    Blue didn't even exist for a while!

    1. Our ancestors didn't perceive the color blue like we do today.

    A British scholar named William Gladstone also noticed that in Homer’s The Odyssey, the poet described the sea as wine-dark. There's also evidence that most ancient languages didn't have a word for blue.

    2. Blue was the first color to be synthetically produced.

    Egyptian blue was created in 2,200 B.C. They made it by combining limestone and sand with azurite or malachite, and finished it off by adding egg whites or glue to make a long-lasting paint or glaze.

    3. If a woman wore light blue during the Renaissance, it meant she was young and marriageable.


    4. Before 1856, the color purple came from snail mucus.

    20th Century-Fox

    Cleopatra needed 20,000 snails soaked for ten days to obtain one ounce of purple dye for her royal clothing. Purple clothing during the Renaissance and Medieval era was very difficult to find since the snail used to make the royal color was almost extinct.

    5. Which made it incredibly difficult and expensive to get purple dye, making it the perfect color for royalty — especially Roman emperors.


    If anyone else wore the color, it was considered a crime punishable by death.

    6. But it was exceedingly expensive. Some emperors even thought it was out of their price range.

    Emperor Aurelian didn't allow his wife to keep a purple silk robe because the fabric was "worth its weight in gold."

    7. Mauve was created by accident in 1856.

    Archive Photos / Getty Images

    In 1856, a British chemistry student named William Henry Perkin accidentally created the first synthetic dye. The color of the dye was mauve, and it quickly became popular after Queen Victoria wore a mauve silk gown to the Royal Exhibition of 1862.

    8. The first known red sports uniform, was used during the late Roman Empire for chariot racing team.

    Archive Photos / Getty Images

    9. The Aztecs of Mexico made red dye by crushing insects called cochineals.

    10. Mary, Queen of Scots, wore a red petticoat to her execution, as a symbolic way of stating her innocence.

    Archive Photos / Getty Images

    For Roman Catholics, red symbolizes the blood of martyrs. She was accused of treason against Queen Elizabeth I and sentenced to death in 1587.

    11. In 17th-century France, only rich people could wear red shoes.

    Archive Photos / Getty Images

    Red heels had been worn by monarchs for centuries, but it was King Louis XIV who passed a law declaring only nobility could wear his favorite shoes.

    12. In many Asian countries, red is the traditional color for a wedding dress. / BuzzFeed Motion Pictures

    13. During the Renaissance, prostitutes in most Italian cities had to wear yellow.

    14. Queen Victoria actually started the white wedding dress trend.

    Hulton Archive / Getty Images

    She wore a white gown to her wedding in 1840.

    15. Pink was used for boys and blue for girls until the 1940s.

    Fpg / Getty Images

    According to a 1918 magazine, pink was considered a "stronger color," suitable for boys, while blue was "delicate and prettier" for the girls.

    Color me impressed!

    Cartoon Network / Via