Scientists discover the world's oldest color in 1.1 billion year old rock

For millions of years, this popular color dominated the world.

What's the oldest color in the world? Researchers from the U.S., Japan, and Austrailia have been digging in the Sahara desert and have found out that none other than hot pink appears to be the world's oldest surviving color. 


No—archelogists didn't uncover the world's oldest H&M. The color is actually the color of the fossils of chlorophyll, discovered in black shale sediment that occurred naturally back when the Sahara was a giant body of water. These particular fossils go back 1.1 billion years where there's a gap in knowledge between how microorganisms became larger animals. The pink was created by cyanobacteria, which was a dominant presence on Earth before algae took over 650 million years ago. Algae helped support larger life, so it's good that these researchers, who published their findings in the journal PNAS, found the dominant food source of life back then. 

To keep things in perspective, early humans have only been around about 1.5 million years which is peanuts in the grand scheme of things. Dinosaurs appeared 235 million years ago and were wiped out just 65 million years ago. These cyanobacteria had a great run for 500 million years or so, which is more than enough time to pull off wearing pink

Perhaps Wednesdays 1.1 billion years ago looked a little something like this: 

Mean Girls, 2004: Rachael McAdams as Regina George, standing in front of bacteria fossils. (Credit: Big Think)

(Side note: Can you imagine being on a planet with just algae for 100 million years? That's a long, long time of not a lot happening. Ever waited for a public transportation for an hour? Imagine that times 24,000,000,000. Hope you brought a good book or a podcast, amigo.)

LinkedIn meets Tinder in this mindful networking app

Swipe right to make the connections that could change your career.

Getty Images
Sponsored
Swipe right. Match. Meet over coffee or set up a call.

No, we aren't talking about Tinder. Introducing Shapr, a free app that helps people with synergistic professional goals and skill sets easily meet and collaborate.

Keep reading Show less

4 reasons Martin Luther King, Jr. fought for universal basic income

In his final years, Martin Luther King, Jr. become increasingly focused on the problem of poverty in America.

(Photo by J. Wilds/Keystone/Getty Images)
Politics & Current Affairs
  • Despite being widely known for his leadership role in the American civil rights movement, Martin Luther King, Jr. also played a central role in organizing the Poor People's Campaign of 1968.
  • The campaign was one of the first to demand a guaranteed income for all poor families in America.
  • Today, the idea of a universal basic income is increasingly popular, and King's arguments in support of the policy still make a good case some 50 years later.
Keep reading Show less

Dead – yes, dead – tardigrade found beneath Antarctica

A completely unexpected discovery beneath the ice.

(Goldstein Lab/Wkikpedia/Tigerspaws/Big Think)
Surprising Science
  • Scientists find remains of a tardigrade and crustaceans in a deep, frozen Antarctic lake.
  • The creatures' origin is unknown, and further study is ongoing.
  • Biology speaks up about Antarctica's history.
Keep reading Show less

Why I wear my life on my skin

For Damien Echols, tattoos are part of his existential armor.

Videos
  • In prison Damien Echols was known by his number SK931, not his name, and had his hair sheared off. Stripped of his identity, the only thing he had left was his skin.
  • This is why he began tattooing things that are meaningful to him — to carry a "suit of armor" made up the images of the people and objects that have significance to him, from his friends to talismans.
  • Echols believes that all places are imbued with divinity: "If you interact with New York City as if there's an intelligence behind... then it will behave towards you the same way."
Keep reading Show less