Color Blue

Color Blue

According to various international studies, the world’s most popular color is blue. Here are some interesting facts about this color!

Voiced by: Ekaterina Vasilieva

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Ancient people were not able to comprehend the color blue. In “The Odyssey” Homer describes the sea as “wine-dark”. And the word “blue” is not used once in the entire book. Scientists believe this is because people couldn't see the color blue until much later. A word to define the color blue appears much later than words defining other colors in many ancient languages, such as Greek, Chinese, Japanese and Hebrew. There's evidence that before people could come up with a word for this color, they might have not been able to see blue the way we do now.
Language historian Lazarus Geiger studied ancient texts and discovered that in every culture the first color-related words were words for black and white or dark and light. Next a word for the color red appeared. Yellow and green were the colors defined next. As far as naming colors went, a word for blue was the last one to appear.
Egyptians were the first culture that came up with a word for blue. They were also one of the first cultures to produce a blue dye.
But could the rest of ancient people see the color? Do people really see something if they don't have a name for it? Professor Jules Davidoff from the University of London conducted an experiment with the Himba tribe of Namibia. The tribe's language doesn't have a word for blue. They were shown a diagram with 12 squares, where 11 of them were green and one was blue. They were asked which square was different. Some couldn't decide and others took a long time to find the answer. But when the Himba looked at a diagram with 12 green squares, they could immediately find the one that was different, because they have many words to describe the color green. Davidoff drew a conclusion that without a word for a color it is much harder for us to define it. So even though probably our eyes could see blue in ancient times, we might not have noticed it until much later as it was unique.