MessageToEagle.com - This African remarkable fruit has its own extraordinary colour but does not use
pigment to create it.
Glittering blue colour remains intense even years after plant's death.
The ‘brightest’ thing in nature, the Pollia condensata fruit, does not get its blue colour from pigment but
instead uses structural colour – a method of reflecting light of particular wavelengths- new research reveals.
Pollia condensata, with its brightly coloured fruit, is found across Africa. Credit: P. Moult
Most colours around us are the result of pigments. However, a few examples in nature – including the peacock,
the scarab beetle and now the Pollia condensata fruit – use structural colour as well.
Fruits are made of cells, each of which is surrounded by a cell wall containing cellulose. However, the researchers
found that in the Pollia condensata fruit the cellulose is laid down in layers, forming a chiral (asymmetrical)
structure that is able to interact with light and provide selective reflection of only a specific colour.
As a result of this unique structure, it reflects predominately blue light.
The scientists also discovered that each individual cell generates colour independently, producing a pixelated
or pointillist effect (like those in the paintings of Seurat). This colour is produced by the reflection of light
of particular wavelengths from layers of cellulose in the cell wall.
'Pollia condensata' is born in Angola Mozambique and Ethiopia - its dried shell when viewed under
a microscope. Credit: University of Cambridge
The thickness of the layers determines which wavelength of light is reflected. As a result, some cells have
thinner layers and reflect blue; others have thicker layers and reflect green or red.
'Pollia condensata' - unique blue fruit’s colour does not fade even after a century. Credits: University of Cambridge
Although the Pollia fruit does not provide any nutritional value, birds are attracted to its bright
colouring – possibly as a means of decorating their nests or impressing their mates.
“This obscure little plant has hit on a fantastic way of making an irresistible shiny, sparkly, multi-coloured,
iridescent signal to every bird in the vicinity, without wasting any of its precious photosynthetic reserves
on bird food," says Beverley Glover at the University of Cambridge.
The colour of the Pollia condensata fruit does not fade and samples of the fruit found
in collections dated back to the 19th century show that they were as colourful and shiny as ones grown today.
“The optics are impressive,” says Silvia Vignolini, a physicist at the University of Cambridge and one of
the authors of the study.
“There are no previous examples of this in nature.”
Unexplained Sounds Coming From The Ocean
Several very unusual sounds coming from the oceans have been recorded by scientists world-wide.
Are the sounds caused by very large life forms lurking in the unexplored darkness of Earth's deep oceans or perhaps something else?
Something is down there and experts do not know what it is...
Fascinating Gigantic Creatures Today Totally Extinct 13,000 Years Ago Coexisted With Early Americans
The Ice Age world was, geologically, just a moment ago. Fascinating but today extinct giant animals, like mammoths,
mastodons and giant ground sloths, coexisted with early Americans in those days....
For millions of years, these animals survived, living in temperate climates and on the wind-swept lands of the frozen north – great
beasts weighing as much as eight tons and bearing tusks up to 16 feet long.
Monster Crocodile That Consumed At Least A Few of Our Ancestors
A gigantic crocodile, more than 27 feet in length, which was large enough to swallow humans,
once co-existed with our ancestors in East Africa, say researchers.
Today it is an extinct species from the Pliocene and Pleistocene of the Turkana Basin in Kenya.
Lichen Crab Spider With A Human "Face"
A Lichen Crab spider is harmless to humans but its look can be a little frightening.
The spider has a human face on its back!
It is a very rare spider. Since 1890 only 41 one of them have ever been seen in Britain.
Who Installed "This Object" At The Bottom Of The Ocean?
Our oceans are full of secrets, and this is one of them.
Deep beneath the waters we find ruins of ancient lost civilizations, wreckage of old ships and planes, and sometimes we come across very strange, unidentified objects.
Looking at this odd construction, one has to ask - Who installed this object at the bottom of the ocean?