Why are Blueberries blue? This question may seem absurd, but please stay with me. See, scientists have spent the past several years trying to understand why the beloved blue fruit appears the way it does. Blueberries have dark pigments that cover most of the skin, which is why they look blue.
This pigment has caused confusion among scientists. This confusion is so great that a new report explaining why blueberries look blue has been published recently in Science Advances . Not only does this study teach us more about the fruit, but it also helps us better understand how our body perceives various colors.
The color of blueberries is due to a waxy layer that covers the whole berry. It’s this wax layer that helps attribute the blue color that we see when we look at blueberries. That’s because the wax that surrounds their skin scatters blue and ultraviolet (UV) light while absorbing other colors of light.
It’s this scattering that causes blueberries to appear blue to the human eye. You might ask yourself why scientists would even consider this mystery. Well, it all comes from the fact that when squished, blueberries don’t actually give off any blue juice.
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Further, the color blue is actually very rare in nature, with fewer than ten plants believed to actually showcase the common color. It’s partly because the color blue is actually rare in nature. Instead, the pigment relies on other tricks to appear the way it does.
But, with this new research, scientists finally understand why blueberries are blue and not actually red like their skin and juice suggest they should appear. It’s a bit mind-boggling to think about, but it’s also really interesting because it showcases just how much light and the scattering of specific colors of light can change how we interpret the world around us, like when a blue moon fills the sky.