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10 Facts You Probably, Absolutely Don't Know About The Colour Blue

Blue is the best colour [full stop].

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1. Blue is everyone's favourite colour.

Sociologist Philip Cohen conducted a survey at the University of Maryland that asked participants "What's your favorite colour?" Blue came out on top for both men and women.

2. Ancient peoples may not have been able to see the colour blue.

Homer famously describes the ocean as being "wine-dark" in The Odyssey. That text has led to an intense study as to whether ancient people could see the colour blue at all or if they simply had no word to describe it.

3. In Japan, traffic goes when the light turns "blue."

The traditional Japanese "青" — what we might translate as "blue" — is sometimes used to describe "go" traffic lights in Japan, which are on a green spectrum. In addition to traffic lights, "青" can be used to describe other things that fall somewhere between a simple "blue" or "green" description, such as "blue apples," "blue lawns," or "blue leaves."

4. Water only looks blue because it absorbs red, yellow, and orange light waves.

We see color based on what light waves are being reflected off an object. Generally, we see red tones first, then yellow, but we can only see blue tones if the red and yellow light waves have been absorbed by the object we're looking at.

6. The colour blue was used for important figures in classic paintings.

The paint colour, which does not occur naturally, was expensive to make. It was often used to depict holy figures and royalty.

8. Some offices are designed around the colour blue because it can make people more productive.

A University of Texas study showed that the colour of an office space can affect the emotions of its workforce. The colour blue inspired more productivity then any other colour.

9. It also has the potential to be an appetite suppressant.

There are very few foods that are naturally blue, so this makes some believe that the colour stifles hunger, as it's not a colour that we associate with food.

10. Blue is one of the rarest colours you'll see in the natural world.

Chlorophyll in plants primarily absorbs blue and red wavelengths, reflecting green ones, and in general, compounds in nature that reflect blue light are much rarer, as the process requires more energy.

Images from Thinkstock. Designed by Jake Russell Tapleshay/BuzzFeed

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