Color Awareness

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Underside of a fern leaf, with spore cases

Have you ever wondered why most leaves are green, and not blood red? The answer comes from a physical analysis of light. White sunlight is a ‘soup’ of all observable colors together. A green leaf looks green to us, simply because it only reflects those wavelengths of sunlight that we do perceive as green. The rest is absorbed by the leaf. And that is very useful, because red light is the most energy rich. Green leaves contain grains, which consist of what is scientifically known as chlorophyll. This stuff is the power station of nature. Energy-rich (red) sunlight triggers a process within those grains which combines water and carbon dioxide (the waste gas that we exhale) into sugars. These sugars the plant will use to grow, but most plants will also store it for example in their root system (potatoes, yuca) for later use. Cows and humans can than consume the plant (and in our case we do that directly: delicious salad, or indirectly: good steak). If leaves were blue or red this mechanism would be much less efficient. Nature’s “engineering” again proves to be superior! And that’s a good thing, because the color red induces feelings of stress in humans, as opposed to the soothing green. That’s why I would like to propose the following: let’s give the ‘mondi’ the honor it deserves, and plan to enjoy it at least twice a month to the fullest – non-destructively, of course! Deal?

About Leon Pors