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5 Facts About Colors That Will Change How You See the World

#2. The Universe Is Beige

On one of the many cold nights up on the hill their job requires of them, a group of astronomers decided to take the light of all the stars in the universe, smoosh it all together into a box, and see what color the universe was. There was absolutely no scientific point to this; it's just the kind of thing people with a high data/friend ratio do for fun.

Stolk/iStock/Getty Images
This is a field full of people pining forever for a lover who died billions of years ago.

Anyways, it turns out the answer is beige. The universe is beige.

poligonchik/iStock/Getty Images
I guess to make it look bigger?

The scientists who did this work eventually settled on the name "cosmic latte," because caffeine is a very necessary part of astronomy, and who was going to stop them? So now we know what to order at the store if we ever need to freshen the place up a bit. Also, it's a nice neutral color, which should make the universe appeal more to buyers if we ever have to put it on the market.

Wikimedia Commons
"And it's near many excellent schools."
"What's that smell? Does it have humans in it?"
"Those can be sprayed for."

#1. We Owe Everything to Cyan

Cyan is the color most of us know as the one they keep painting aquarium gift shops in.

Excel23 via Wikimedia Commons
It's also what they make the Jacksonville Jaguars play in, a team largely composed of aquarium gift shop employees.

But it's also the color of a family of organisms called cyanobacteria, which you might not be aware are the most important life forms on Earth. Now, I know you think you're "all that," what with your multicelled body and functioning nervous system, but before you start strutting around the office, trash-talking single-cell life forms, check out this list of things that cyanobacteria have accomplished. First, they can fix nitrogen, which means taking it out of the air and making it available for other forms of life to use.

Digital Vision./Photodisc/Getty Images
"Whatever. I'm pretty sure I fixed nitrogen the other day."

Second, starting a few billion years ago, they filled the atmosphere with oxygen, which we use for all sorts of things. Welding, for example.

Digital Vision./Photodisc/Getty Images
"Filling the atmosphere with oxygen is OK, I guess."

Also, they invented plants.

Digital Vision./Photodisc/Getty Images
"They invented plants? Plants are huge."

They're still around now, filling the atmosphere with oxygen, fixing nitrogen for us to eat, and inventing new things -- super plants, I guess. Like plants with Wi-Fi or something. And they also sometimes bloom and kill everything around them, just to prove their dominance over us, I think. So the next time you see a floating puddle of cyan, show it some respect, lest it turn against you.

Matthewjparker via Wikimedia Commons
"These colors don't run."


Chris Bucholz is a Cracked columnist and loves all the colors of the rainbow. Join him on Facebook or Twitter to hear more of his colorful language.

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