hiflier

What? No Blue?

13 posts in this topic

I heard a podcast a couple of days ago and did some research to see if there was more about this subject:

 

https://www.sciencealert.com/humans-didn-t-see-the-colour-blue-until-modern-times-evidence-science

 

The question came to me about Primates in general who are thought to be trichromatic. Women even have a fourth cone in their eye and a gene to go with it  and so a small number are actually tetrachromatic but not all women have developed the ability to see other colors. Some though have claimed to see red or pink in what for most folks perceive as a pure blue sky. A man in old Britain who went on to become its Prime Minister had a real attachment to the Greek Homer and his writings (Iliad and Odyssey) and discovered he never used the word 'blue' to describe a sky. Lately science has been searching ancient text the world over and have discovered the 'blue' was missing from nearly every one from ancient Greek to the Bible to India to China and I thought of how that would relate to ancient Human ancestors, the Great Apes and yes, our very own, Sasquatch.

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Thanks hiflier. What caught my attention in particular was the lack of mention in Icelandic texts, considering theeye color of so many Scandinavians.

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Posted (edited)

Indeed. Back a while ago when I was researching night vision,  eye shine, and the tapetum lucidum membrane in the eyes of nocturnal animals I saw an interesting article on the Reindeer in Lappland. In summer their tapetum lucidum was a gold color and in winter it was blue. That doesn't have a whole lot to do with this topic but it may add to the discussion in a couple of ways. One is less sunlight may have something to do with that color change, Another may have to do with the color change being evolutionary for animals at higher latitudes in order to see predators better?

 

One of the things that really stood out as significant WRT the lack of blue being described on ancient writings and recordings was the references to a red sky. Since outside of the sky in daytime being blue (or at least that's what everyone thinks it is now LOL) nature doesn't have a lot of natural blue in it, how would it be beneficial say, in a jungle, or in grasslands or rocky mountainous terrain. Was the atmosphere of Earth different in that it didn't scatter blue around because there was none to scatter? In other words, what is responsible for scattering light in the blue spectrum? Nitrogen? Oxygen? Water vapor? Or maybe what in the atmosphere was absorbing blue instead of reflecting it.

 

Or is the study simply telling us nothing has changed but the Human eye? Or the Human brain that interprets the electrical output to the brain from the retina and then 'sees' blue? Is it all just how sensitive the Human eye's cones are to that color? So is it biology or geophysics? Eye/brain or atmosphere/molecule? Either one would affect the perception of blue or no blue in all things. Yeesh! I do NOT know why this kind of stuff gets me!

 

And now for the big question: This is all supposedly true even though the Human eye and that of the Great Apes, and presumably Sasquatch has all three cones (tricolor) but in the 'olden' days Humans still had three cones and therefore tricolor but no blue. Well Humans got their blue. Did the Great Apes get their blue? or do they still have a red sky and what about Sasquatch? In general does better night vision, Humans included, in primates means that cannot be sensitive to blue? Is that the tradeoff? All other colors are there- but no blue.

 

Years ago Dr. Paul LaViolette propose the idea of periodic cosmic superwave bombardments. In that proposal he said the result would be a red sky. There was one about 12,000 years ago. and another larger one around 40,000 years ago.

Edited by hiflier
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Thank you for sharing. That is very interesting . I am torn between not seeing blue and not having a name for it. The logiclal answer would be the name of course,but who know?

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https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blue

 

The modern English word blue comes from Middle English bleu or blewe, from the Old French bleu, a word of Germanic origin, related to the Old High German word blao.[5] In heraldry, the word azure is used for blue.[6] Different words, such as lapis, cerulean, sky blue, and indigo, are used to describe particular shades of blue.

In Russian and some other languages, there is no single word for blue, but rather different words for light blue (голубой, goluboy) and dark blue (синий, siniy). See Colour term.

Several languages, including Japanese, Thai, Korean, and Lakota Sioux, use the same word to describe blue and green. For example, in Vietnamese the color of both tree leaves and the sky is xanh. In Japanese, the word for blue (青 ao) is often used for colors that English speakers would refer to as green, such as the color of a traffic signal meaning "go". (For more on this subject, see Distinguishing blue from green in language)

Linguistic research indicates that languages do not begin by having a word for the color blue.[7] Color names often developed individually in natural languages, typically beginning with black and white (or dark and light), and then adding red, and only much later – usually as the last main category of color accepted in a language – adding the color blue, probably when blue pigments could be manufactured reliably in the culture using that language.[7]

 

Blue was a latecomer among colors used in art and decoration, as well as language and literature.[24] Reds, blacks, browns, and ochres are found in cave paintings from the Upper Paleolithic period, but not blue. Blue was also not used for dyeing fabric until long after red, ochre, pink and purple. This is probably due to the perennial difficulty of making good blue dyes and pigments.[25] The earliest known blue dyes were made from plants – woad in Europe, indigo in Asia and Africa, while blue pigments were made from minerals, usually either lapis lazuli or azurite.

Lapis lazuli, a semi-precious stone, has been mined in Afghanistan for more than three thousand years, and was exported to all parts of the ancient world.[26] In Iran and Mesopotamia, it was used to make jewellery and vessels. In Egypt, it was used for the eyebrows on the funeral mask of King Tutankhamun(1341–1323 BC).[27] Importing lapis lazuli by caravan across the desert from Afghanistan to Egypt was very expensive. Beginning in about 2500 BC, the ancient Egyptians began to produce their own blue pigment known as Egyptian blue by grinding silica, lime, copper, and alkalai, and heating it to 800 or 900 °C (1,470 or 1,650 °F). This is considered the first synthetic pigment.[28] Egyptian blue was used to paint wood, papyrus and canvas, and was used to color a glaze to make faience beads, inlays, and pots. It was particularly used in funeral statuary and figurines and in tomb paintings. Blue was considered a beneficial color which would protect the dead against evil in the afterlife. Blue dye was also used to color the cloth in which mummies were wrapped.[29]

In Egypt blue was associated with the sky and with divinity. The Egyptian god Amun could make his skin blue so that he could fly, invisible, across the sky. Blue could also protect against evil; many people around the Mediterranean still wear a blue amulet, representing the eye of God, to protect them from misfortune.[30] Blue glass was manufactured in Mesopotamia and Egypt as early as 2500 BC, using the same copper ingredients as Egyptian blue pigment. They also added cobalt, which produced a deeper blue, the same blue produced in the Middle Ages in the stained glass windows of the cathedrals of Saint-Denis and Chartres.[31] The Ishtar Gate of ancient Babylon (604–562 BC) was decorated with deep blue glazed bricks used as a background for pictures of lions, dragons and aurochs.[32]

The ancient Greeks classified colors by whether they were light or dark, rather than by their hue. The Greek word for dark blue, kyaneos, could also mean dark green, violet, black or brown. The ancient Greek word for a light blue, glaukos, also could mean light green, grey, or yellow.[33] The Greeks imported indigo dye from India, calling it indikon. They used Egyptian blue in the wall paintings of Knossos, in Crete, (2100 BC). It was not one of the four primary colors for Greek painting described by Pliny the Elder (red, yellow, black, and white), but nonetheless it was used as a background color behind the friezes on Greek temples and to color the beards of Greek statues.[34]

The Romans also imported indigo dye, but blue was the color of working class clothing; the nobles and rich wore white, black, red or violet. Blue was considered the color of mourning, and the color of barbarians. Julius Caesar reported that the Celts and Germans dyed their faces blue to frighten their enemies, and tinted their hair blue when they grew old.[35] Nonetheless, the Romans made extensive use of blue for decoration. According to Vitruvius, they made dark blue pigment from indigo, and imported Egyptian blue pigment. The walls of Roman villas in Pompeii had frescoes of brilliant blue skies, and blue pigments were found in the shops of color merchants.[34] The Romans had many different words for varieties of blue, including caeruleus, caesius, glaucus, cyaneus, lividus, venetus, aerius, and ferreus, but two words, both of foreign origin, became the most enduring; blavus, from the Germanic word blau, which eventually became bleu or blue; and azureus, from the Arabic word lazaward, which became azure.[36]

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4 hours ago, norseman said:

but nonetheless it was used as a background color behind the friezes on Greek temples and to color the beards of Greek statues

 

4 hours ago, norseman said:

According to Vitruvius, they made dark blue pigment from indigo, and imported Egyptian blue pigment. The walls of Roman villas in Pompeii had frescoes of brilliant blue skies, and blue pigments were found in the shops of color merchants

 

It doesn't mean that they saw it as blue though and that's the point.

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Very interesting... a lot of the Youtube community seems to have been picking up on a common trend of blue (human) items in bigfoot areas, incorporated into structures, etc. I'm not sure what that would mean in this context, but thought it was worth mentioning. 

Why might blue be a special color for them? Some thoughts:

  • Maybe it is a recent adaptation, so it's the "newness" of the color that draws their attention to it
  • Blue is a pretty rare color in the natural world; maybe they've only started seeing blue as an adaptation to nearness to humans, as we've started proliferating blue items into their world
  • Along these same lines, the rareness of it, or "unnaturalness" of it draw their attention to it, make it stand out as a marker or indicator.
  • Most out of the box idea: what if the "more human" type of sasquatch use it as a secret communication among each other that the "more apelike" type of sasquatch can't pick up on (because one type can see blue and the other can't)
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Posted (edited)

DANG IT, ioyza, just one more thing to think about LOL. 'Preciate the tidbit. What I find interesting too is the range of color that various animals see in and cannot help but wonder about light frequencies generally detected my nature's creatures. Science seems to know a lot about that subject. How it relates to what the article is saying is kind of an unknown though. IF, and I mean IF something was going on that caused the sky to really not be blue it would affect the tones of many other color ranges. Blue is a primary color after al. So to see a brown animal as being more maroon? Or if the molecules in the atmosphere absorbed the blue spectrum instead of scattering it? How would it affect the early hunter/gatherers? Could they see animals better? see trackways better? Have better vision at night? These are questions for scientists for the most part I guess.

 

One thing that crosses my mind though is if the Earth is experiencing an Ice maximum would it be better to have eyesight that WASN'T sensitive to blue but more reds and greens? Placing a red or pinkish filter over a camera lens can be quite dramatic. It darkens foliage for one thing. Neanderthal which lived for 230 THOUSAND YEARS. went through two ice maximums surviving both, eventually failed as a species. They lived only ten thousand years after Cro-Magnon came on the scene in Europe. Might different vision frequencies play a part? If Sasquatch is it's own species is there something that indicates it has any color preferences?

 

As an added thought many animals are thought to see colors more toward the higher frequencies like yellows, greens, and blues- some maybe into ultraviolet. So treating clothing with the products that remove the 'bliung' that most detergent soaps use is to allow clothing to absorb UV and not reflect it. If Sasquatch sees blue I could maybe understand an advantage using such products. Do Humans light up like blue Christmas Tree bulbs from a mile away if their clothing reflects UV? I know, I know.....just too many questions and I'll be long gone before they all get answered......but for now, I just HAVE to ask them.

Edited by hiflier
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21 minutes ago, hiflier said:

I know, I know.....just too many questions and I'll be long gone before they all get answered......but for now, I just HAVE to ask them.

 

But that's the recipe for the most interesting and productive bigfoot conversations! 

 

Yeah the whole process of visual perception is fascinating, it's something neuroscientists have been able to get a pretty good handle on because there's a logical linear transduction pathway, and a lot of the initial visual cortex processing happens near the skin surface, and you can do a lot of cool experiments with surface electrodes or being minimally invasive. The emphasis on line definition in our visual processing is really cool, there are whole hierarchical levels of processing devoted to detecting angular frequencies of lines - I found a video of some of the first of these kind of experiments here. Then you start to realize that some of your image generation is based on spatial frequencies, and to map those frequencies into images your brain must have evolved, biologically, to form neural networks that perform an inverse Fourier transform on part of the incoming signal, and the whole thing starts to boggle the mind.

 

But the part of that that's relevant to color perception is that if you notice in the linear orientation experiments toward the end of the video, the response is strongest in a single direction, but it doesn't drop off immediately in similar directions. There's a similar spread of frequency response in the opsins responsible for creating a color-sensitive signal in the cones. So you can see there are peaks of each opsin that correspond to what we see as red, green, and blue, and the color spectrum is the brain synthesizing signals from those three peak absorption frequencies, but there's a lot of overlap especially between blue and green where we might not get as much contrast (ie be able to clearly differentiate colors in those regions).

 

What I don't know is to what extent those opsins are conserved across different animals. We know some animals see UV (bees come to mind) and some see IR (some people speculate this includes sasquatch), so there must be some significant variability in these proteins, right? Maybe changes in the frequency absorption range of the opsins can happen quickly in evolutionary time - I'd have to imagine small changes in the protein sequence could lead to significant changes in its function, and the vision of the organism (which could be either extremely beneficial or detrimental to its survival and highly selected for).

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3 hours ago, hiflier said:

 

 

It doesn't mean that they saw it as blue though and that's the point.

 

What I took away from it was that humans and all great apes see, saw blue. But it took a while for humans to manufcature the color, and produced other colors much earlier. 

 

 

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Hi Norseman, yes, I do see what you are saying and it does make some sense. At the same time, generally speaking, when it comes to ancient text I find it remarkable that there were, fairly universally, no words for the color blue and yet to us blue does exist. It's an interesting conundrum to be sure. And thank you for linking that text article. It is a very good argument and response.

 

ioyza, funny you should mention the opsin gene. THAT is the gene that when relaxed allows for night vision. Don't know if it indicates the presence of a tapetum lucidum though. I do know from studies done however that the presence or diminished presence of the opsin gene wasn't considered to be a one time shot in the evolution of different species. The gene function apparently evidently came and went. So hominids or any species could have had an active opsin gene and then an inactive one at different times in their evolutionary progress.

 

The presence of a strong opsin gene in a DNA sample would mean reduced night vision capability and that is something geneticists working on any suspected Bigfoot DNA say, from the Oregon Project's nest discoveries that were sent to Dr. Disotell, should also be looking for- not just 'unknown primate' DNA. Maybe down the road they will? A suppressed opsin gene would be a valuable thing to discover. Hmmm, oh yes.....and a gene that says........BIG! ;) On the subject of Sasquatch there is so much that must fit together, including its diet, but its lineage is the thing I'm really holding out for.

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For what it's worth, blue does occur in a number of creatures colour schemes, and is found in all the vertebrate orders(though I'm hard pressed to think of many blue mammals, aside from a few cetaceans, and that's almost more our doing through nomenclature) A good number of birds display the colour, as do some lizards and snakes. Amongst the amphibians blue is most seen in the anurans, and then salamanders. Fish may well show the greatest of diversity of blues (no Mississippi delta jokes...lol) amongst the vertebrates. The colour is also seen in a number of invertebrate groups as well. 

In at least the reptiles, those species that are usually green will on occasion produce blue (and yellow) individuals as well.

In some species blue serves as a warning colour against predation, as seen in dart frogs and some sea snakes, as well a couple of terrestrial venomous snakes. While I'm not sure when these blues arose, one would think they would only be of benefit against predators with the ability to perceive the colour, so may have come into play only once the more acute colour vision of the more advanced predators came into being. Though this does not account for the use of blue by the chameleons group which use colour shifts to communicate emotive states on an introspection basis.

 

That's supposed to read "intraspecific basis"as opposed to "introspection basis"

Dang diabolical spellchecker....

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Thanks guyzonthropus, yes the color blue exists in those things you listed and the color may have ALWAYS existed in those things. The point I got from the OP though is that at least HUMANS may not have seen that color even though it was there to be seen? It's not clear to me if the blues in nature were just not seen as blue by early Humans until relatively recently and I'm not really sure if it was because the sky wasn't truly blue but instead was more red or reddish. I could mean the ABILITY to see blue was there in Humans but a red sky would have made the various shades of blue look more like black. I know if I take a red camera filter and pass it over a blue colored object it appears black.

 

As an added thought the Sun through a reddish sky may have looked more orange and the Moon tinted perhaps slightly pink rather than white. One might even have to wonder about the Egyptian pyramids being covered in alabaster. Would they then actually be white under a red sky? And how would. So the whole thing comes down to this: Could Humans see blue as long as it wasn't a color displayed outdoors? Inside murals may be blue or have blue backgrounds like Norseman was proposing in his article but outside those same murals would not have blue in them? Was blue an important or 'magical' pigment, like indigo and other shades, BECAUSE it looked different inside compared to outside? It seems most everything described by Homer according to the erstwhile British PM was some outside object or animal. In order to trace the color blue in the ancient writings across the globe should the experts be looking for black or shades of gray in odd color descriptions?    

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