The Most Intense Color of Any Living Thing on Earth
Also known as the marble berry, Pollia condensata is a wild plant that grows in the forests of several African countries. The berries are not edible, but they have an extremely rare property. They produce the most intense color of any living thing on Earth. Even after the berries have been picked from the plant, they stay the same shiny, vibrant, metallic blue color for many decades.
The vast majority of colors in the biological world are produced by pigments—compounds produced by a living organism that selectively absorb certain wavelengths of light, so that they appear to be the color of whichever wavelengths they reflect.
However, the marble berry’s skin has no pigment. The berries produce their vibrant blue color through nanoscale-sized cellulose strands that scatter light as they interact with one another. Thus the fruit’s color is even visible at the cellular level as pictured above.