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
Armando Garciacano
What about snails, how many colors can day see?? Hey, maybe they can ask the shrimp if they know the answer.
Nov 25, 2022 12:30AM
Steve Tingle
I remember, many years ago, that in discos they often had ultraviolet lights, I was aware of a purpleish colour but a friend only saw black,
Apr 28, 2022 10:57AM
Vimala Padmaraj
Sep 20, 2021 2:52AM
Rave Cooper, It's an inprawn talent.
Sep 28, 2020 4:47AM
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
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
Raymond Cardona
Interesting article Bonnie
Jul 28, 2019 4:16PM


People also liked

Interesting Facts

4 signs you should be moving more 5/14/2021

Lack of movement can affect us in different ways and can even cause some long term harm. Check out 4 signs that you should start moving more.

Read more

#Science #health

7 amazing facts about regular household objects 6/21/2021

Our appliances and furniture may seem like not the most interesting things in our life, but once you read these 7 cool facts you'll change your opinion about some of them.

Read more

#Science #History #Society

Surprising facts about the human heart 6/9/2021

Before humans knew anything about biology we knew the heart was essential to the human experience. Here are six facts about this amazing organ.

Read more

#Science #health

7 amazing facts EVERYBODY should know! 7/22/2021

Keep reading to learn the least expected facts about a volcano that erupts blue lava, koalas and grasshoppers.

Read more

#Science #Nature