Chromatic for the People

Taste the rainbow with our sampler of color-related news

Published February 12, 2024

We all could use some feel-good pops of color in our day, wouldn’t you say? We think so, and that’s why we used our rods and cones to bring you the latest news from the colorful world around us.

David Attenborough’s Technicolor Planet

Lately scientists have been obsessed with understanding animals’ color vision. If you don’t believe us, peep this trio of news items:

  • A recent Birds and Blooms article highlighted the amazing vision capabilities of hummingbirds. Turns out they’re tetrachromats, meaning they can see red, blue, green and ultraviolet light–combining for a palette of millions of colors. Scientists proved it by training the birds to participate in color vision tests… meanwhile, we can’t even get them to wear little cowboy hats. (That’s not just us, right?)
  • In an article from, researchers proved that flowering plants evolved over tens of millions of years to have bright colors that help bees see them. According to the new study, bees developed their visual perception well before the first flowers appeared. This has great potential implications for modern agriculture, especially efficient crop pollination–not to mention your Valentine’s bouquet.
  • Getting back to that tetrachromatic thing, a transatlantic research team has developed a cool new camera system to translate animal vision into something humans can experience. The camera records in red, blue, green, and UV, which it depicts with a magenta overlay. Who knows, maybe we can even see like hummingbirds soon! 

Wild Hue Yonder

Colorful airline liveries are great for brand recognition, and, more importantly, they make us smile! A recent article on counted down the most colorful of them all:

  • #3 Condor. The German leisure airline went with colorful prison-stripes beach towel stripes for their fleet–green, yellow, red, blue or beige hoops wrapping around the fuselage. Look out for sand in the engines…
  • #2 Royal Jordanian. The Amman-based carrier keeps it classy with black and white bodies, gold crowns on the tail, and red details. But one plane in particular steals the show, wrapped in beautiful rose-colored photos of the rock-cut ancient city of Petra. 
  • #1 All Nippon. Their three Airbus A380s that fly from Tokyo to Honolulu have been transformed into sea turtles, in orange (inspired by Hawaiian sunsets), emerald green (clear island waters), and blue (Hawaiian skis). Complete with cute little smiles, they’ll help you fly kawaii to Hawaii.

Godzilla vs. Pantone 

The first trailer for Godzilla vs Kong: The New Empire is out, and it shows a pink-hued Godzilla with bubble-gum pink atomic breath. Bold choice? Maybe, but the good folks at reminded us that Godzilla’s atomic breath has run its way through half the Crayola box: 

  • When Godzilla first graced the big screen 70 years ago, the monster had white breath (of course, it was black-and-white).
  • In King Kong vs. Godzilla (1962) he got a blue tinge, inspired by Cherenkov radiation.
  • In Godzilla vs. Destoroyah (1995), the creature appeared as a literal burning Godzilla, complete with patches of fiery skin and red breath to match. 
  • Godzilla 2000 (1999) gave us bright orange breath, perfect for incinerating an alien while narrowly avoiding death-by-gullet.
  • Mirroring the ionized air of nuclear explosions, Shin Godzilla (2016) featured purple atomic breath… and tail, and dorsal plates.

Still, we’re pretty sure this is the first pink one. It’s just a shame he’s too late for the Mean Girls revivals.