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  • Remember that double rainbow guy?

  • Can you imagine his reaction if he'd seen A HUNDRED MORE RAINBOWS???

  • Hello visionaries, Julian here for DNews.

  • Your senses are an illusion; they're all just ways your brain interprets your environment

  • and they leave a lot out.

  • Like radio waves are basically the same thing as visible light, they're just so stretched

  • out you can't see them.

  • But you can tune in to a radio station and know they're there.

  • But what about invisible information in between what you can see?

  • Could there be more to sense hiding in plain sight?

  • Absolutely.

  • Most people can see about a million colors.

  • This is because inside of the typical human eye there are three types of cones that are

  • sensitive to red, green, and blue wavelengths of light.

  • And each can differentiate about 100 shades.

  • Which can be mixed and matched.

  • So 1003 means there are a million possibilities.

  • This is why tv and computer screens use mosaics of red, green and blue lights to display images.

  • Digital cameras detect varying levels of red, green, and blue light when you take a picture.

  • It's technology designed around our biology.

  • Well, Most people's biology, not all.

  • Some people have a genetic mutation which renders one cone inoperative, making them

  • dichromatic instead of trichromatic, or what we would call colorblind.

  • Usually these people are men, because the genes for cones are carried on the x chromosome,

  • so colorblind men would need just one mutated x chromosome while colorblind women would

  • need to get two.

  • So if it's possible to effectively have two functioning cones and only see 10,000

  • colors, is it also possible to have four different cones and be able to see 100 million?

  • That's what Newcastle University neuroscientist Gabriele Jordan had been searching for for

  • decades, and in 2010 she finally found one.

  • Jordan was testing women who have colorblind sons, the rationale being the sons must have

  • inherited a mutated x chromosome from their mothers.

  • So the women must have two different x chromosomes and therefore four cones in their eyes.

  • The women looked at three colored circles that to most people would look identical,

  • but one had just a little red or green mixed in that would only be visible to someone with

  • four active cones.

  • And out of the 24 women who took the test, only one got every single question right.

  • So it's rare.

  • It's estimated only about 1% of people have a fourth cone, and even then many don't

  • seem to use it.

  • And even when they do, how can they communicate what they see to us three-coned non-superhumans?

  • It's the classicwhat if my red is different than your red but we can't tell?”

  • question all over again.

  • So why are tetrachromats who can actually use their powers so rare?

  • The precise reason is still a mystery.

  • According to Jameson it may come down to learning to use that extra cone, informally called

  • the Yellow cone.

  • It could be that even though some people have four cones, their brains are adapted for the

  • usual three, and taking advantage of those extra hues comes with repetition that makes

  • the brain rewire itself.

  • Or maybe they just don't notice the extra colors because no one else is mentioning them.

  • Jameson also notes that the difference between a tetrachromat's vision and a trichromat's

  • is not as dramatic as the difference between a trichromat's and a dichromat's.

  • If you are a dichromat, don't feel left out.

  • Tons of animals are right there with you.

  • Dogs are dichromats too and it's a myth that they see black and white.

  • For more cool info on how your eye sees colors, Julia's got some deets on that right here.

  • Special thanks to the folks at Fig. 1 for providing the animations,

  • be sure to check them out here.

  • Do you think you have a superhuman sense?

  • Tell us what it is and why down in the comments.

  • Subscribe for more, and I'll see you next time on DNews

Remember that double rainbow guy?

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B1 US colorblind cone chromosome green mutated people

Can Some People See More Colors Than You?

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    joey joey posted on 2021/04/17
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