PLUS, there’s one particular shade of blue (or indigo, depending) that is derived by extracting the blood from thousands of little ocean snails, oxidizing it, and dyeing fabric with it to create a mystical hue known as tekhelet, Tyrian purple, or (as mentioned above) murex purple, which was once more valuable than gold–partially because it became brighter when exposed to sunlight and weathering.
In the beautiful mosaic of 20th-century art and science, it was discovered how and why the blood of many earth critters can manifest so many beautiful hues.
Hemoglobin is what we humans (and most mammals) have as a means to carry oxygen to the cells in our bodies. It uses iron molecules to get the job done.
Hemocyanin, on the other hand, uses copper to do this same job in many sea creatures, including crabs, lobsters, and of course, sea snails.
Wait, copper? Like, the stuff pennies were made of?
So how do we get blue dye from copper? I bet you’re asking.
Oxygen, and sunlight. Really! When copper oxidizes*, it turns a greenish-bluish shade.
What do you mean, you don’t believe me? You’ve seen the Statue of Liberty, right?
That French beaut is made of 3/32 in copper, protected by a lovely patina. Totally rockin’ that look, Lady Liberty!
There’s no mention of animals being able to draft, though. I thought for sure there would be some mention that dissection revealed these creatures were packing luxin… Huh, I just realized sub-red drafters give whole new meaning to “packing heat”!
Okay, I’m gonna stop there.
*Thanks for making us do all those redox equations in AP Chem, Ms. Johnson! That knowledge finally came in handy! 😉
We are so excited to share the buttload of cool [BLEEP] we found with all of you. Also, you should know that Jefe is in the weeds editing, and we’re wading through the tall grass and cattails cheering him on. Gooooooooo Jefe!
At any rate, Real Life Fantasy is back with a couple of mind-bending articles from Live Science, about animals that can see in ultraviolet:
There’s even a piece in The Atlantic about animals that not only SEE in ultraviolet, but they GLOW in UV light as well. And here you thought you were so clever with your black velvet Hendrix poster and your empty Amaretto bottles full of water and highlighter filament. *tsk*
You ever notice that fire doesn’t cast a shadow? I mean, it seems obvious that a light source wouldn’t specifically have its own shadow, right?
Well, guess what?
This guy at The Action Lab shows you how to reveal the true nature of that fickle plasma. Yeah, we see you, fire–and your charred, malevolent heart. Fire can, in fact, absorb certain wavelengths of light (under the right conditions).