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November 09 2010


Cecelia's 'Flowers'

"It was really an accident," Cecelia Webber admits in an interview with Modern Luxury, "I shot a nude figure against a black background and thought it looked so much like a petal I just went with it."  And thus started her journey as a professional artist in hopes of dispelling much of the world's view of nudity as either "something erotic or disgusting," as she puts it.

Her work consists of only the naked human body, often her own, photographed in the most peculiar of positions then painstakingly overlaid using Photoshop to form the familiar shapes of petals, stamen and stem. So familiar the shapes are and so acutely formed that at first glance it is hard to tell that you're looking at naked people. Lastly, but always first in our book, she saturates the forms with stunning color. Her work pays great homage to nature: the beauty of the human figure and the shapes and colors that connect all living things.

Orange_Flower Cecelias_Flowers

Tags: Art Nature News

October 20 2010


Hottest Colors in the World. Burn Your Face Off.

Warning! : The colors below may cause sweating, irritation to the eyes & mouth, the forming of sad, scared, awkward looking facial expressions, and the gratuitous exhibition of machismo. Be careful not to touch your eyes or your sensitive areas after handling. Now, the hottest colors in the world.

Chili Peppers

The spicy heat of peppers is measured in Scoville Heat Units. This scale measures the amount of Capsaicin the chemical compound that stimulates chemoreceptor nerve endings in the skin, especially the mucous membranes. In other words it makes that stuff hot.

To give us an idea of the Scoville scale, Pure capsaicin (the active component in peppers) is a 15,000,000 - 16,000,000, you don't want to eat or even get near that. If your using pepper as a weapon or deterrent you'll want at least 5,000,000, which is what is used by law enforcement in pepper spray. On the other side of the scale we have bell peppers at 0 units and Tabasco red pepper sauce with a rating between 2,500 & 5,000 units.

We start of with the hottest peppers in the world and work our way down through some of those with less heat but still packed with hot colors.

Tambako the Jaguar


Naga Jolokia / Bhut Jolokia

Scoville: 855,000 - 1,075,000 | This is the hottest chili in the world.



Red Savina

Scoville: 350,000–580,000 | The Red Savina pepper is a cultivar of the habanero chili (Capsicum chinense Jacquin), which has been selectively bred to produce hotter, heavier, and larger fruit.

Image From


Chocolate Habanero

Scoville: 200,000 - 385,000 | One of hottest of the large-fruited habanero types, and the favorite pepper in the Caribbean to make barbecue sauces and marinades, with a unique rich flavor unduplicated by any other pepper. Can be dried and smoked like the Chipotle, to produce an exquisite flavored sauce.

Ian Kershaw


Scotch Bonnet

Scoville: 100,000 - 350,000 | Scotch bonnet, also known as Meh Boabs Bonnet, Scotty Bons or Bonney peppers, (Latin: Capsicum chinense) is a variety of chili pepper that belongs to the same species as the habanero. A cultivar of the habanero, it is one of the hottest peppers in the world. Found mainly in the Caribbeanislands and also in Guyana and the Maldives Islands, it is named for its resemblance to a Tam o'shanter hat.


Orange Habanero

Scoville: 150,000 - 325,000 | The habanero chili (Capsicum chinense) is one of the more intensely spicy species of chili peppers of the Capsicum genus.



Scoville: 125,00 - 325,000 | The Fatalii is a chili pepper of Capsicum chinense that originates in central and southern Africa. It is described to have a fruity, citrus flavor with a searing heat that is comparable to the standard habanero. The Scoville Food Institute lists the Fatalii as the sixth hottest pepper.


Peach Habanero

Scoville: 100,00 - 325,000 | Wrinkled pepper, usually 1-2" long, 1" wide. Seeds are from the beautiful peach colored variety, bearing fruits similar to the orange type but with red-toned skin. The fruits also tend to be a bit larger in size.


Madame Jeanette

Scoville: 100,000 - 300,000 | Madame Jeanette (Capsicum chinense) is a chili pepper originally from Suriname. The fruits are shaped like small bell peppers but with Habanero-like heat. The peppers ripen to reddish-yellow but they are larger and more symmetrical than Habaneros. When raw, the taste is of a hot burning, without any sweetness or fruitiness. It may be related to the Suriname Red (as this pepper is also known as 'Suriname Yellow').




Scoville: 100,000 - 300,000 | The Datil is an exceptionally hot pepper. Datils are similar in strength to habaneros but have a sweeter, fruitier flavor.  Mature peppers are about 3.5 inches long and yellow-orange in color.


Thai Peppers / Bird's Eye Chili

Scoville: 50,000 - 100,000 | The bird's eye chili is small but packs quite a lot of heat. At one time it was even listed as the hottest chili in the Guinness Book of World Records but other hotter varieties of chili have since been identified.



Bolivian Rainbow Chili

Scoville: 50,000 | This import from Bolivia makes a lovely landscape plant with its purple leaves and lovely 1/2in. fruits which begin purple, then yellow and finally red.


Cayenne Pepper

Scoville: 30,000 - 50,000 | Cayenne is used in cooking spicy dishes, as a powder or in its whole form (such as in Sichuan cuisine) or in a thin, vinegar-based sauce.

Image From


Chinese 5 Color

Scoville: 5,000 - 30,000 | Peppers are hot, grow upright, and turn from purple, to cream, to pale yellow, to orange, to red when mature. Plant has green stems with purple markings, green leaves with purple veins, and purple flowers.


Hot Lemon / Lemon Drop

Scoville: 5,000 - 30,000 | The Lemon drop is a hot, citrus-flavored pepper which is a popular seasoning pepper in Peru, where it is known as Kellu Uchu. It is also known in the anglophone world as 'Hot lemon' or 'Lemon Drop'. The bright yellow, crinkled, cone-shaped fruits are about 2-1/2" long and 1/2" wide and mature from green to yellow.

green reflections


Red Mushroom Pepper

Scoville: 2,500 - 5,000 | A very good chili in taste ... variety native to the Caribbean. A bit weaker than the variety 'Cayenne' Capsicum annuum from.



Scoville: 500 - 2,500 | The poblano is a mild chile pepper originating in the State of Puebla, Mexico. Dried it is called an ancho chile. While poblanos tend to have a mild flavor, occasionally and unpredictably a poblano can have significant heat. Different peppers from the same plant have been reported to vary substantially in heat intensity.



Scoville: 100 - 500 | Peperoncini (or pepperoncini) are a variety of the species Capsicum annuum, like bell peppers and chili peppers. They are also known asTuscan peppers, sweet Italian peppers and golden Greek peppers. While called peperonciniin American English, in Italy these particular kind of peppers are called friggitello (plural friggitelli) or more generally peperone(plural peperoni) like other sweet varieties of peppers, while the termpeperoncini (singular peperoncino) is used for hotter varieties of chili peppers.


Bell Pepper

Scoville: 0 | Bell pepper or sweet pepper come in different colors, including red, yellow and orange. The fruit is also frequently consumed in its unripe form, when the fruit is still green. Bell peppers are sometimes grouped with less pungent pepper varieties as "sweet peppers". Peppers are native to Mexico, Central America and northern South America. Pepper seeds were later carried to Spain in 1493 and from there spread to other European, African and Asian countries.


The color and temperature of a flame are dependent on the type of fuel and amount of soot present in the combustion. A red flame is the coolest part, then as the temperature rises it changes to orange, yellow, and finally to white, being the hottest part. A blue flame will appear if the concentration of oxygen is high enough and creates enough energy to excite and ionize gas molecules in the flame. It can be seen near the base of candles where airborne soot is less concentrated.

Different flame types of a Bunsen burner depend on oxygen supply. On the left a rich fuel with no premixed oxygen produces a yellow sooty diffusion flame; on the right a lean fully oxygen premixed flame produces no soot and the flame color is produced by molecular radicals, especially CH and C2 band emission. The purple color is an artifact of the photographic process.

Flame color depends on several factors, the most important typically being blackbody radiation and spectral band emission, with both spectral line emission and spectral line absorption playing smaller roles. In the most common type of flame, hydrocarbon flames, the most important factor determining color is oxygen supply and the extent of fuel-oxygen "pre-mixture", which determines the rate of combustion and thus the temperature and reaction paths, thereby producing different color hues.



Yellow Flame

In a laboratory under normal gravity conditions and with a closed oxygen valve, a Bunsen burner burns with yellow flame (also called a safety flame) at around 1,000°C. This is due to incandescence of very fine soot particles that are produced in the flame.



Blue Flame

ith increasing oxygen supply, less blackbody-radiating soot is produced due to a more complete combustion and the reaction creates enough energy to excite and ionize gas molecules in the flame, leading to a blue appearance. The spectrum of a premixed (complete combustion) butane flame on the right shows that the blue color arises specifically due to emission of excited molecular radicals in the flame, which emit most of their light well below ~565 nanometers in the blue and green regions of the visible spectrum.

Flame temperatures of common items include a blow torch at 1,300°C, a candle at 1,400°C, or a much hotter oxyacetylene combustion at 3,000°C. Cyanogen produces an ever-hotter flame with a temperature of over 4525°C (8180°F) when it burns in oxygen.



Red & Orange Flames

Generally speaking, the coolest part of a diffusion (incomplete combustion) flame will be red, transitioning to orange, yellow, and white the temperature increases as evidenced by changes in the blackbody radiation spectrum. For a given flame's region, the closer to white on this scale, the hotter that section of the flame is. The transitions are often apparent in TV pictures of fires, in which the color emitted closest to the fuel is white, with an orange section above it, and reddish flames the highest of all. Beyond the red the temperature is too low to sustain combustion, and black soot escapes. A blue-colored flame only emerges when the amount of soot decreases and the blue emissions from excited molecular radicals become dominant, though the blue can often be seen near the base of candles where airborne soot is less concentrated.


Smelting is a form of extractive metallurgy; its main use is to produce a metal from its ore. To do it you need some really high temperatures for the final step in the process, reduction.

Reduction is the final, high-temperature step in smelting. It is here that the oxide becomes the elemental metal. A reducing environment, (often provided by carbon monoxide in an air-starved furnace) pulls the final oxygen atoms from the raw metal. The required temperature varies over a very large range, both in absolute terms, and in terms of the melting point of the base metal.

Some of the higher temperature metals include Tungsten (3000 °C , 5432 °F) & Titanium (1795 °C, 3263 °F) where as iron melts at 1530°C (2786 °F).


When first erupted from a volcanic vent, lava is a liquid at temperatures from 700 °C to 1,200 °C (1,300 °F to 2,200 °F).

The Sun

I'm sure we all know the Sun quite well; its temperature: 5,505 °C (9941 °F) at the surface and ~15,699,727 °C (28,259, 541 °F) at the core.

Header Image by wstryder

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Animals Gone Wild (Photography)

Advertisement in Animals Gone Wild (Photography)
 in Animals Gone Wild (Photography)  in Animals Gone Wild (Photography)  in Animals Gone Wild (Photography)

Showing one’s teeth doesn’t always mean they’re smiling for the camera. Animals tend to expose their teeth especially when it comes to territory and lack of food sources. The fight may end up harmless, but sometimes also very brutal. The opponent may bleed to death and this may seem merciless to us, but that’s how nature occasionally works. As a matter of fact, we tend to describe a merciless fight between humans as animal-like.

Taking close-up pictures like these can be highly risky, as animals don’t like any hindrance during their combats. For whatever reasons they may be fighting, this can injure the person or animal coming between them. Today we have come up with some dazzling shutterbug shots to inspire you and take you on a walk with us through the wild side. Enjoy with us some spectacular animal fighting moments!


Tigaru in Animals Gone Wild (Photography)

Rams Having A Male Fight

Ram in Animals Gone Wild (Photography)

Stag fight

Stag-fight in Animals Gone Wild (Photography)

attack the teeth

Teeth in Animals Gone Wild (Photography)

I fly already

Fly in Animals Gone Wild (Photography)


Combat in Animals Gone Wild (Photography)

Iguana fight

Iguana in Animals Gone Wild (Photography)


Snake in Animals Gone Wild (Photography)

Rooster fight

Rooster in Animals Gone Wild (Photography)

Tigers fighting

Tiger in Animals Gone Wild (Photography)

Grizzly fight Grrrrrrrr

Grizly in Animals Gone Wild (Photography)

Play Fight

Oroyx in Animals Gone Wild (Photography)


Zebra in Animals Gone Wild (Photography)

Geese Fight

Goose in Animals Gone Wild (Photography)

Fight Club

Dog2 in Animals Gone Wild (Photography)

Red Panda Fight!

Panda in Animals Gone Wild (Photography)

Corsac Foxes (Vulpes Corsac) Fighting, Hamerton Zoo

Fox in Animals Gone Wild (Photography)

Hippos Fighting 2a

Hippo in Animals Gone Wild (Photography)

male impalas fighting

Impalas in Animals Gone Wild (Photography)

Round 1, FIGHT !!!!!

Bull in Animals Gone Wild (Photography)


Monkey in Animals Gone Wild (Photography)


Lizard in Animals Gone Wild (Photography)

seal fight

Seal in Animals Gone Wild (Photography)

Fighting Elephants

Elephant in Animals Gone Wild (Photography)

wild horses

Horse2 in Animals Gone Wild (Photography)

Fighting colors…

Bird3 in Animals Gone Wild (Photography)


Eagle3 in Animals Gone Wild (Photography)

Fight Between Two Tigers

Lionsss in Animals Gone Wild (Photography)

Fight Between Two Wolves

Wolfis in Animals Gone Wild (Photography)

Kingbirds fighting

Kingsbird in Animals Gone Wild (Photography)

Fighting Kittens

Kittens in Animals Gone Wild (Photography)

August 23 2010


Going o’natural

These sites get back to nature and theme their design around all things outdoors.

Tags: Nature

July 19 2010


35 Beautiful Web Designs Inspired by Nature

When creating a beautiful and memorable web design, many designers turn to nature to be inspired by the beauty of what surrounds us. Nature-inspired web design has become more common in recent years as large backgrounds and extensive use of images are being used. In this post we’ll take a look at some amazing examples of designs that can be created to incorporate various aspects of nature into a website.


Ecoki iPhone App

Ecoki iPhone App

Aran Down

Aran Down

Ian Burton

Ian Burton

BrightBulb Studio

BrightBulb Studio






Blue Sky Resumes

Blue Sky Resumes

See Monterey

See Monterey

Branden Silva

Branden Silva








Orange Apple

Orange Apple

Noel Design

Noel Design


Olive Crush

Olive Crush

Less Cruise

Less Cruise



Brad Colbow

Brad Colbow

Giant Media

Giant Media

Sand and Starfish

Sand and Starfish

Flowers, Trees and Grass:

Island Dentistry

Island Dentistry

PSD Chimp

PSD Chimp

Goin Nutty

Goin Nutty

Virtual Sky Studio

Virtual Sky Studio

Forest Edge Music Festival

Forest Edge Music Festival

Aussie BBQ Legends

Aussie BBQ Legends

Rainbow Cleaners

Rainbow Cleaners

Clickfarm Interactive

Clickfarm Interactive

Horizons and Landscapes:

Just Made My Day

Just Made My Day

Campus Vida

Campus Vida



Stone Skipper

Stone Skipper



Pink Cactus

Pink Cactus

For more design inspiration please see:

May 30 2010


Eclectic Color Roundup: World Cup iPhone Cases, Palette Bookmarklet, Wallpaper Lovin' Bees & Body Sails


World Cup Collection From Uncommon

Uncommon Collections

The collection has all 32 qualifying team flags and four general soccer designs. Uncommon will be knocking teams out of the collection as they are knocked out of the tournament. So once your team is out, the flag case is gone.

API Love

Bookmarklet For Palette/Pattern Browser

Bookmarklet | Browser |  CL Forum

ycc2106 made a great bookmarklet for the palette/pattern browser a little while back. If you select a username with your cursor and click the bookmarklet it'll take you to the browser with that user's stuff. If you don't have anything selected it opens a window to enter the username. Super handy.

With permission, cuttlefish is hosting it now. Just drag the links into your bookmarks bar to use it.

Thanks ycc2106!

COLOURlovers Forum


Bees Use Flower Petals For Colorful Nest Wallpaper

Story @ NPR

When we think of bee nests, we often think of a giant hive, buzzing with social activity, worker bees and honey. But scientists recently discovered a rare, solitary type of bee that makes tiny nests by plastering together flower petals. - Continue Reading


Body Sails

Sporting Sails

April 25 2010


Eclectic Color Roundup: Poodle All Colors, Retro Pens, Feelings Are Facts & Purple Snow.


'Poodle All Colors' by Tina Roth Eisenberg

Beautifully Banal Poster Series | Swiss Miss

The Type Directors Club in conjunction with Cardon Copy has asked designers to find a classified/personal newspaper ad from their local community to “hijack” typographically. When redesigned, the once banal and disposable classified ads will be reinterpreted by the designer into a one-of-a-kind collectible poster. Each poster will be auctioned on Tuesday evening, May 11th (starting at 6:00 pm), with proceeds to benefit the TDC Scholarship Fund.


Retro Pens


Via happycavalier


Feelings Are Facts

UCCA | | More Photos

Feelings are facts will showcase the first collaboration between world-renowned Danish-Icelandic artist, Olafur Eliasson, and leading Chinese architect, Ma Yansong. Eliasson and Ma will create for UCCA a unique experience through architecture and light. Eliasson often plays with light, shadow, color and fog to create a specific environment for the viewer to enjoy the pure act of seeing, and to discover their surroundings through mechanically induced phenomena. Ma’s architecture stands at the forefront of new experimentation in building structures, refashioning form in bold pursuits of perfection. Their collaboration is specifically designed for UCCA’s big hall inviting the Chinese audience to enter an endless space of fog, with color emanating from fluorescent tubes of red, green and blue. By moving about in the locations where the colors blend, viewers will endlessly creates their own color spectrums.

Exhibit Images from


Purple Snow


People in Southern Russia could not believe their eyes when they found purple snow piled on city streets.

Scientists confirmed a multi-coloured snowfall – ranging from light purple to brown – had landed in Russia's Stavropol Region.

Having analysed the samples, climatologists ruled that the snow is perfectly safe. However, eating purple snow is still not recommended as scientists say it is full of dust from Africa... continue reading.

April 11 2010


Eclectic Color Roundup: Horsetail Firefall & Rainbow Eucalyptus

Horsetail Firefall

Each year, during part of February, if the lighting conditions are just right, Horsetail falls, a small seasonal waterfall in Yosemite National Park, transforms color for a fleeting moment, turning gold and then appearing as if lava were flowing down the side of El Captain.

TuckerH586 4380491843_b47eb9a85a_o
RC Designer402561120_f6e0a3b995_b

Don Van Dyke

Rainbow Eucalyptus

Eucalyptus deglupta is a tall tree, commonly known as the Rainbow Eucalyptus, the Mindanao Gum, or the Rainbow Gum. It is the only Eucalyptus species found naturally in the Northern Hemisphere. Its natural distribution spans New Britain, New Guinea, Ceram, Sulawesi and Mindanao. The tree is cultivated around the world, mainly for pulpwood used in making paper. It is the dominant species used for pulpwood plantations in Philippines.

This tree is also grown for ornamental purposes, due to the showy multi-coloured streaks that cover the trunk. Patches of outer bark are shed annually at different times, showing the bright-green inner bark. This then darkens and matures to give blue, purple, orange and then maroon tones. - Wikipedia

Jeff Kubina


Shaved Ice & Gelato | Eucalytpus Delgulpta


Via kuriositas

Tags: Nature News

March 15 2010


Color Wonders of the World

The natural world will forever be our greatest source of color inspiration. Not a day or season goes by without being able to find a profound experience of color: After the white snow melts away taking with it the stark contrasts of bare tress and black shadows, the grass's green becomes richer each day, until one day. And as quickly as the first transformation happens, an opposite and equally powerful transition takes place. The green retreats, fading into shades of grey and making way for the falling white to come again.

In appreciation for these very colors I have selected, some of the world's richest, most powerful color experiences, that if given a chance to view in a non-RGB setting that opportunity should be grasped.

Red Lava


When this red-hot molten rock erupts from a serene black landscape of protruding mounds and mountains of volcanic formations a true humbling experience can be had when contemplating the substance before you and its impact on the formation of the very ground you stand upon and that fact that that ground is not a static platform but rather a living, evolving  stage.

Read about lava's unique properties and find more color inspiration from the Big Island of Hawaii and other landscapes.



Lava lava_boogie

The Orange Australian Dust Storms

El Fotopakismo

Why is the dust orange in the first place? Because there's so little vegetation. Southeastern Australian soil is composed of weathered ferric rocks. The iron makes the resulting clay minerals—like nontronite, saponite, and volkonsokite—orange-ish. This process is certainly not unique to the land Down Under. Many regions started out orange but eventually transitioned to brown or black as vegetation sprang up in the fertile clay and composted into dark organic matter. The climate around Sydney is too arid for trees and shrubs to proliferate, so the area retains its original hue. The lack of vegetation also explains the frequent dust storms. Clay is flaky, and there aren't many trees or roots to prevent it from sweeping across the plains. - keep reading at Slate.


Dust_Orange orange_dust

dusty_sand Dust_Storm

The Yellow Desert Flowers


Mesembryanthemum clavatum flowers (Mesembs) in late Spring, creating carpets of colour in the semi-desert landscapes of the Northern Cape (Tanqua Karoo, October 2006, South Africa). - Photographer Martin_Heigan




Green Algae


Green algae is the most diverse group of algae, with more than 7000 species growing in a variety of habitats.

A few other organisms rely on green algae to conduct photosynthesis for them. The chloroplasts in euglenids and chlorarachniophytes were acquired from ingested green algae, and in the latter retain a vestigial nucleus (nucleomorph). Some species of green algae, particularly of genera Trebouxia and Pseudotrebouxia (Trebouxiophyceae), can be found in symbiotic associations with fungi to form lichens. In general the fungal species that partner in lichens cannot live on their own, while the algal species is often found living in nature without the fungus. - Wikipedia

algaebloom Fuzzy_Green

Algae_in_Mist Algae_Light

algae_road Algae_Glow

Glacier Blue


A glacier is a mass accumulation of snow and ice. However, unlike snow, a glacier's color appears a deep, almost deep-sea-eerie blue. This is because, while white snow sits atop these massive giants, all the previous year's snow has been compressed into ice, and light acts differently in ice. When white sunlight hits a glacier, instead of being completely scattered, like with snow, it penetrates deep into the ice. The farther it goes the more red frequencies get absorbed due to an "overtone of infrared OH stretching mode of the water molecule." This is the same reason water appears blue. Why is Snow White

Glacier Glacier_Ice


glacier Glacier

The Purple Aurora

Arnar Valdimarsson 1, 2.

The colors created by aurora are most commonly, green and red, but depending on the particles present in the clouds from the sun, say if there is nitrogen present, the color can range from low level reds to very high blues and violets.

Aurora originates from the sun. Large amounts of solar particles are thrown into space and travel for about two to three days at a rate of 300 to 1000 kilometers per second in order to reach earth's outer magnetic field. At this point, the clouds of particles are pulled towards the northern and southern magnetic poles. As they are being pulled towards the poles they are stopped by our atmosphere colliding with other present particles. The interaction of these particles causes what we know as aurora, the northern lights or aurora borleis in the northern hemisphere, and aurora australis or the southern polar lights in the southern hemisphere. Colors in Nature: Aurora

auroral_purple_sky Aurora_Borealis

Aurora Aurora_Borealis

Aurora_Borealis Aurora_Borealis

Tags: Nature News

February 16 2010


Create A Colorful Terrarium

Terrariums are small glass enclosed gardens that first became fashionable in the 70's and then fell out of style like brown analogous wallpaper. But thanks to the green movement they are definitely back in style. Now a whole new group of people will discover their simple beauty and inspiring colors that not only add a nice touch to home decor but help build a closer relationship to nature.

Below you'll find inspiration and some links to help you get started creating your own colorful terrarium.


Lítill Terrariums

Beautiful vessels and stunning colors from Lítill.

digür flugum


lykt mjög


Terrariums in Art

"Vaughn Bell Reminds Us That Everything We Take From Nature Is Technically On Loan" - Greenwala



Sprout Home Terrarium How-To

Succulent Terrarium

Make your own succulent terrarium by Mstetson Design < Decor 8.


Where to Buy Terrariums

A quick search found terrariums more suited for the lizard in your 3rd grade class than your living room, so your best bet is to start from the bottom or find a kit and then use your own container, but If you're looking for a jump start try these out: Litill | Etsy


Inspired Palettes from the Library

glass_garden Glass_Garden

terrarium terrarium

terrarium Terrarium

Terrarium terrarium

Thanks for the suggestion Lauren!

February 08 2010


January 25 2010


All The Colors Of The Rainbow

Rainbows are one of the great visual wonders of our colorful world. They are very familiar to most, but because of the particular conditions in which they form, it is rare to catch a glimpse of their vivid colors, and even harder to capture one on film.

Here is a collection of impressive rainbow photos, and a little information about how they form and the different variations that can be seen.


Rainbows can be observed whenever there are water drops in the air and sunlight shining from behind at a low altitude angle. The most spectacular rainbow displays happen when half of the sky is still dark with raining clouds and the observer is at a spot with clear sky in the direction of the Sun. The result is a luminous rainbow that contrasts with the darkened background, it might even be possible to see a  second arc with an inverse order of colors.


A rainbow spans a continuous spectrum of colours; the discrete bands are an artefact of human colour vision. The most commonly cited and remembered sequence, in English, is Newton's sevenfold red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet (popularly memorized by mnemonics like Roy G. Biv). Rainbows can be caused by other forms of water than rain, including mist, spray, and dew.

At good visibility conditions (for example, a dark cloud behind the rainbow), the second arc can be seen, with inverse order of colours. At the background of the blue sky, the second arc is barely visible.

From an airplane it is possible to see the entire circle of a rainbow.


How Rainbows Form

The light is first refracted as it enters the surface of the raindrop, reflected off the back of the drop, and again refracted as it leaves the drop. The overall effect is that the incoming light is reflected back over a wide range of angles, with the most intense light at an angle of 40°–42°. The angle is independent of the size of the drop, but does depend on its refractive index.

The amount by which light is refracted depends upon its wavelength, and hence its colour. Blue light (shorter wavelength) is refracted at a greater angle than red light, but due to the reflection of light rays from the back of the droplet, the blue light emerges from the droplet at a smaller angle to the original incident white light ray than the red light. You may then think it is strange that the pattern of colours in a rainbow has red on the outside of the arc and blue on the inside. However, when we examine this issue more closely, we realise that if the red light from one droplet is seen by an observer, then the blue light from that droplet will not be seen because it must be on a different path from the red light: a path which is not incident with the observer's eyes. The blue light seen in this rainbow will therefore come from a different droplet, which must be below that whose red light can be observed.



Where is the Rainbow?

A rainbow does not actually exist at a particular location in the sky. Its apparent position depends on the observer's location and the position of the sun. All raindrops refract and reflect the sunlight in the same way, but only the light from some raindrops reaches the observer's eye. This light is what constitutes the rainbow for that observer. The position of a rainbow in the sky is always in the opposite direction of the Sun with respect to the observer, and the interior is always slightly brighter than the exterior. The bow is centred on the shadow of the observer's head, or more exactly at the antisolar point (which is below the horizon during the daytime), appearing at an angle of 40°–42° to the line between the observer's head and its shadow. As a result, if the Sun is higher than 42°, then the rainbow is below the horizon and cannot be seen as there are not usually sufficient raindrops between the horizon (that is: eye height) and the ground, to contribute. Exceptions occur when the observer is high above the ground, for example in an aeroplane (see above), on top of a mountain, or above a waterfall.


Rainbow Variations

Double Rainbow
Frequently, a dim secondary rainbow is seen outside the primary bow. Secondary rainbows are caused by a double reflection of sunlight inside the raindrops, and appear at an angle of 50°–53°. As a result of the second reflection, the colours of a secondary rainbow are inverted compared to the primary bow, with blue on the outside and red on the inside. The dark area of unlit sky lying between the primary and secondary bows is called Alexander's band, after Alexander of Aphrodisias who first described it.


Tertiary (Third) Rainbow
A third, or tertiary, rainbow can be seen on rare occasions, and a few observers have reported seeing quadruple rainbows in which a dim outermost arc had a rippling and pulsating appearance. These rainbows would appear on the same side of the sky as the Sun, making them hard to spot. One type of tertiary rainbow carries with it the appearance of a secondary rainbow immediately outside the primary bow. The closely spaced outer bow has been observed to form dynamically at the same time that the outermost (tertiary) rainbow disappears. During this change, the two remaining rainbows have been observed to merge into a band of white light with a blue inner and red outer band. This particular form of doubled rainbow is not like the classic double rainbow due to both spacing of the two bows and that the two bows share identical normal colour positioning before merging. With both bows, the inner colour is blue and the outer colour is red.


Supernumerary Rainbow
A supernumerary rainbow is an infrequent phenomenon, consisting of several faint rainbows on the inner side of the primary rainbow, and very rarely also outside the secondary rainbow. Supernumerary rainbows are slightly detached and have pastel colour bands that do not fit the usual pattern.

Reflection Rainbow
When sunlight reflects off a body of water before reaching the raindrops, it may produce a reflection rainbow, if the water body is large, and quiet over its entire surface, and close to the rain curtain. The reflection rainbow appears above the horizon. It intersects the normal rainbow at the horizon, and its arc reaches higher in the sky. Due to the combination of requirements, a reflection rainbow is rarely visible. Six (or even eight) bows may be distinguished if the reflection of the reflection bow, and the secondary bow with its reflections happen to appear simultaneously.


Circumhorizontal Arc
The circumhorizontal arc is sometimes referred to by the misnomer 'fire rainbow'. As it originates in ice crystals it is not a rainbow but a halo.

moonbow (lunar rainbow, lunar bow or white rainbow) is a rainbow produced by light reflected off the surface of the moon rather than from direct sunlight. Moonbows are relatively faint, due to the smaller amount of light reflected from the surface of the Moon. They are always in the opposite part of the sky from the moon.

Few places in the world frequently feature this phenomenon. Cumberland Falls, near Williamsburg, Kentucky, U.S.A. and Victoria Falls on the border between Zambia and Zimbabwe are widely known for moonbow occurrence. Also Durham, North Carolina.

More Rainbows















David Paul Ohmer



Text adapted from wikipedia/rainbow

Tags: News Fun Nature

December 14 2009


Color In Nature: Surprisingly Colorful Jellyfish

Jellyfish are found in every ocean, from the surface to the deep sea. Some hydrozoan jellyfish, or hydromedusae, are also found in fresh water and are less than half an inch in size. They are partially white and clear and do not sting. The scyphomedusae are the large, often colorful, jellyfish that are common in coastal zones worldwide.

Jellyfish are displayed in aquariums in many countries. Often the tank's background is blue and the animals are illuminated by side light, increasing the contrast between the animal and the background. In natural conditions, many jellies are so transparent that they are nearly invisible.

Mish Mish

red-ornge-ylw_jelly blue_button_jelly

pierre pouliquin


tri_jellyfish rich_jelly

Thomas Rutter

More Inspiration

Any of these images can be the start of your next great color palette just right click & copy the images' address then paste it into PHOTOCOPA, or save it to your computer and load it into COPASO. Share your jellyfish inspired palettes by posting them in the comments of this post.

Jellyfish in Biotechnology

In 1961, Osamu Shimomura of Princeton University extracted green fluorescent protein (GFP) and another bioluminescent protein, called aequorin from Aequorea victoria, while studying photoproteins which cause jellyfish's bioluminescence. Three decades later, Douglas Prasher, a post-doctoral scientist at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, sequenced and cloned the gene for GFP. Martin Chalfie of Columbia University figured out how to use GFP as a fluorescent marker of genes inserted into other cells or organisms. Roger Tsien of University of California, San Diego, chemically manipulated GFP in order to get other colors of fluorescence to use as markers. In 2008, Shimomura, Chalfie, and Tsien won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for their work with GFP.





Thomas Hawk



Valerie Reneé



Gerald Yuvallos



Header Image: 'Fiori di Como' by Dale Chihuly | Photo by itsray

December 10 2009


Plant Uses Color Camouflage To Hide From Predators

It is well known that some animal species use camouflage to hide from predators. Individuals that are able to blend in to their surroundings and avoid being eaten are able to survive longer, reproduce, and thus increase their fitness (pass along their genes to the next generation) compared to those who stand out more. This may seem like a good strategy, and fairly common in the animal kingdom, but who ever heard of a plant doing the same thing?

In plants, the use of coloration or pigmentation as a vital component of acquiring food (e.g., photosynthesis) or as a means of attracting pollinators (e.g., flowers) has been well studied. However, variation in pigmentation as a means of escaping predation has received little attention. In the December issue of the American Journal of Botany, Matthew Klooster from Harvard University and colleagues empirically investigated whether the dried bracts on a rare woodland plant, Monotropsis odorata, might serve a similar purpose as the stripes on a tiger or the grey coloration of the wings of the peppered moth, namely to hide.

As a myco-heterotroph, M. odorata obtains carbon resources from associated mycorrhizal fungi and has a highly reduced vegetative morphology consisting of an underground root mass that produces one to many diminutive reproductive stems (3.5–6 cm in height). Upon emerging from the soil in the late fall, reproductive stems and immature buds are light lavender in color and covered by fleshy bracts and sepals. However, over the course of the subsequent winter months, bracts and sepals become scarious, drying to a light brown. Reproductive stems, encased in dried bracts and sepals, mature early the following spring and upon anthesis, flowers become fragrant (like baking cloves) and are pollinated by Bombus spp. Fruit set ensues over the subsequent 8–10 weeks, with pungently fragrant fruits attracting animals for seed dispersal. Monotropsis odorata is notoriously difficult to locate in the wild, likely owing to the dried bracts and sepals that cover reproductive stems and flowers, rendering them inconspicuous against the ambient pine and oak leaf litter among which they grow. Manipulations of reproductive stems have shown that these cryptic vegetative bracts conceal more conspicuously colored floral and stem tissues and significantly reduce floral herbivory, leading to higher fruit set, a component of plant reproductive fitness. This finding offers strong support to a growing body of literature documenting the ecological dynamics of plant defensive coloration. (Credit: Photo credit: Matthew R. Klooster.)

"Monotropsis odorata is a fascinating plant species, as it relies exclusively upon mycorrhizal fungus, that associates with its roots, for all of the resources it needs to live," notes Klooster. "Because this plant no longer requires photosynthetic pigmentation (i.e., green coloration) to produce its own energy, it is free to adopt a broader range of possibilities in coloration, much like fungi or animals."


Using a large population of Monotropsis odorata, Klooster and colleagues experimentally removed the dried bracts that cover the 3- to 5-cm tall stems and flower buds of these woodland plants. The bracts are a brown color that resembles the leaf litter from which the reproductive stems emerge and cover the pinkish-purple colored buds and deep purple stems. When Klooster and colleagues measured the reflectance pattern of the different plant parts, they indeed found that the bracts functioned as camouflage, making the plant blend in with its surroundings; the bract reflectance pattern closely resembled that of the leaf litter, and both differed from that of the reproductive stem and flowers hidden underneath the bracts. Furthermore, they experimentally demonstrated that this camouflage actually worked to hide the plant from its predators and increased its fitness. Individuals with intact bracts suffered only a quarter of the herbivore damage and produced a higher percentage of mature fruits compared to those whose bracts were removed.

"It has long been shown that animals use cryptic coloration (camouflage) as a defense mechanism to visually match a component of their natural environment, which facilitates predator avoidance," Klooster said. "We have now experimentally demonstrated that plants have evolved a similar strategy to avoid their herbivores."


Drying its bracts early to hide its reproductive parts is a good strategy when the stems are exposed to predators for long periods of time: all the other species in the subfamily Monotropoideae have colorful fleshy bracts and are reproductively active for only a quarter of the length of time. Somewhat paradoxically however Monotropsis odorata actually relies on animals for pollination and seed dispersal. How does it accomplish this when it is disguised as dead leaf material and is able to hide so well? The authors hypothesize that the flowers emit highly fragrant odors that serve to attract pollinators and seed dispersal agents; indeed they observed bumble bees finding and pollinating many reproductive stems that were entirely hidden by the leaf litter itself.

Adapted from materials provided by American Journal of Botany, via Eureka Alert.

Additional images from Forestry Images.

November 18 2009


The Colors Of Andrew Zuckerman

The Astonishing vividness of Andrew Zuckerman's photographs is a treat for the senses. In his latest book, Bird, Andrew pulls the birds from their natural setting and places them in front of a stark white backdrop creating the most wonderful contrast that allows us to appreciate these colorful creatures in a new light.

Find out more about the book at

The Birds

yellow_orange_bird blue_yellow_bird


inflight masked_lovebird






The book





Behind the Scenes

All Images © Andrew Zuckerman

Tags: News Art Nature
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