• Question: I have always wondered if everyone on the world was color blind. Do people see colors differently?

    Asked by The Ge Ni U S to Andrew, Jade, Jessica on 25 Jun 2015.
    • Photo: Jessica Wade

      Jessica Wade answered on 25 Jun 2015:


      Of course we do! Back to the cones story I was telling you before. Cones are all in the middle of a part of our eye called the ‘retina’. There is also a receptor called our ‘rods’. Rods are mainly used for blacks and whites, but they are useful when we go into a dark room.
      There are six million cones which send high intensity light and tell our brains about the colours we are seeing. Within the six million, some are senstive to different colours of light. Some people made have way more ‘red’ receptors, and some have some more blue receptors. They send messages to different nerve cells to tell our brains the names and information to interpret colours. So when some people see red, they might mean orange.

      The science is actually amazing. If the light has the same energy and wavelength, if you shine it in my eye, then look in your eye, we’d like;y see different colours because of ur photoreceptors. We learnt the word for ‘blue’ when our parents told us the sky was blue, but it might be a totally different blue for both of us. We gave the colours the names because that’s what most people have agreed on, but really it is just vibrations of light waves and our cone receptors interpretation of them.

      Lot’s of people can’t differentiate between pairs of colours, like red or green. Some insects can see UV light! We think birds and fish see the full spectrum.

      Men are the most ‘colour blind’ because the things that cause colourblindess are all a certain chromosome that men have more of.

    • Photo: Andrew Fensham-Smith

      Andrew Fensham-Smith answered on 25 Jun 2015:


      To a certain extent – yes! When people describe things as being purple and they’re clearly blue – it’s just because my eyes are seeing the colour slightly differently to that person. People who are colour blind have eyes which can’t tell colours apart – this is because the cells responsible for figuring out what colour is which tell your brain it’s two colours at once – blue/green for some people and so forth. If you filter the light which confuses people who are colour blind they can actually see things in normal colour. There’s a company online called Enchroma which will make glasses so colour blind people can see the world in the full rainbow.

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