Okay, one more trivial thing by mattsteinglass
June 26, 2009, 8:47 pm
Filed under: Family, Oddities

My wife and I are constantly arguing about whether things are blue or green. She generally takes the “blue” position; I take “green”. Or vice versa, I forget. I have never known whether to ascribe the problem to genetic differences in the way we perceive the colors or to a cultural difference in where the boundary between “blue” and “green” falls in Holland and the US. (I mean, she’s wrong, obviously; the question is simply whether her error has a genetic or cultural source.) And then today I saw this optical illusion on Phil Plait’s Discover Magazine blog, via 3QD:


blue green spiral illusion

blue green spiral illusion




The blue and green spirals are, in fact, exactly the same color: RGB 0,255,150. Check it. It’s for real.

I think this shows that the reason for our disagreement over various blue-green objects is that my wife may see everything else in the universe as slightly orange, while I see it all as slightly purple, for either genetic or cultural reasons, I’m not sure.

5 Comments so far
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That is seriously cool!


Comment by Forrester McLeod

Fascinating… the blue-green distinction has always been blurry to me, and I usually see blue of the two. I always attributed this to some sort of partial color blindness (my grandfather is full on color blind), but this seems like an even more plausible account.

Comment by Paul J.

I have wondered why the Vietnamese use the same word for both blue and green — màu xanh.

Comment by Mel Schenck

Good point!

Comment by mattsteinglass

as do the Japanese. Well, not entirely, but aoi covers many things in the west considered green. only the really venomous green is called midori.

Comment by The Engineer

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