It’s an age-old question: How do I know the color blue to me is the same as the color blue to you? And now, to make things even more interesting, how do we know if the color blue, as we see it, has even always been visible? This was a question tackled by researchers at MIT and several other institutions – and their findings may surprise you.

According to researchers, our ancestors had no word for blue, likely because the color doesn’t exist in many places in nature. Certainly water and the sky are blue – to us – but those were described in antiquity as “wine-colored,” or some other variant on existing combinations of words. In fact, no mention of blue can be found in ancient Greek, Korean, Chinese, or Hebrew. The Egyptians, being the first with the ability to create blue eyes, were the first to name the color, though their word for it did not spread until much later.

Researchers believe that things without names often cannot be seen. Studies on several groups of people found that color perception was directly related to the strength and common usage of the words they used to describe them. This means that, depending on where you are from, the color blue to you may, indeed, be very different than the color blue to someone else.

Vision is a fascinating thing. Be sure to protect yours by maintaining routine examinations with the experienced eye doctors at the Northeastern Eye Institute. Please contact us online or call 800-334-2233 to schedule your next visit at one of our 15 Northeastern Pennsylvania locations.