Are there any completely new colours that humans have never seen?

All of the colors we CAN see are very well known. Actually, we can only distinguish about 4 million colors - and if you view this image at full resolution - this is all of them:

We know this because the human visual system sees all colors as a mixture of red, green and blue - and the precision of each of the three kinds of color detecting cells in the retina is known (a little better than 1% accuracy each) so we know, for 100% sure - that these are the only colors we can see.

HOWEVER: There are definitely colors that we CAN’T see…or at least can’t see properly.

For example - take “Yellow”. In the “real world”, the light from a sodium lamp is pretty much pure yellow - a single frequency of light (not a mixture) with a wavelength of a little less than 600 nanometers.

However if you take a photograph of a sodium lamp using a digital camera and display the picture on your computer screen - then the computer displays “Yellow” as a mixture of red and green light.

To our eyes, the red/green mixed color on the computer screen looks IDENTICAL to the pure yellow of an actual sodium lamp.

It’s tempting to say that “Red plus Green equals Yellow” - but it doesn’t…it only looks that way to human eyeballs.

So here is a definite case where there is a color that we can’t truly see…I mean it looks “yellow” - but which yellow? True yellow or red+green?

As a human, we’re inclined to say “Who cares? Nobody can tell them apart anyway.”

But many animals CAN tell the difference - they have more detector types in their eyes than we do. The humble goldfish, for example has the ability to distinguish between pure yellow and red+green. So it must be seeing those as two completely different colors.

All humans are really colorblind.

We joke that dogs can’t see color - but actually, they can - but only blue and yellow. We can see red, green and blue - but there is a kind of freshwater shrimp that can see TWELVE colors.

So - YES there are colors that humans can’t see - but NO, there are no colors that we can see - but have not yet seen - all of them are in that picture, above.

This information was taken from Quora. Click here to view the original post.

Can you see all the colors in the image? Isn't it astonishing that all visible colors can be combined in one picture?

#Science #color #vision #Quora


What are your thoughts on this subject?
Catherine Van Court Mckeown
Did someone ask that freshwater shrimp how many colors it could see?
Jul 29, 2019 11:47AM
Okee dokee!!😏😏😏
Apr 19, 2020 5:07PM
In the eye of the beholder. People are different. But maybe even more in the Third Eye.
Dec 8, 2019 5:03PM
Don Racette
Dianne Winter You don't have to wonder about that. Your husband said for sure you are going to the other option.
Aug 19, 2019 9:12PM
jack patti go
Very interesting!
Jul 30, 2019 1:19AM
Very interesting.
Jul 29, 2019 10:37AM
Interesting. I love sunflowers. Thank you.
Jul 29, 2019 12:49AM
Dianne Winter
Well, now I don’t feel so superior. And as Billy Knott says, what would heaven look like
Jul 28, 2019 7:49PM
Connie McBride
Yes how do we know these creatures can see all these colors?
Jul 28, 2019 6:52PM
Rave Cooper
How we know a shrimp can see 13 colours lol Didn’t someone ask it?
Jul 28, 2019 6:35PM
Todd Cates
Jul 28, 2019 6:01PM
Raymond Cardona
Interesting article Bonnie
Jul 28, 2019 4:16PM
Veronics Moss
That's wonderful, I've never knew that, it's so interesting I always pride myself not being colour blind, now I understand thank you very educational. 😍 🇬🇧
Jul 28, 2019 4:13PM

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