We found the ugliest color in the world, but what is the most beautiful?
Throughout history, blue has been one of the hardest colors to produce artificially. The search for a perfect synthetic blue pigment has been ongoing pretty much forever, with scientists, designers, and artists alike struggling to find a blue shade that won’t fade easily and doesn’t require expensive minerals to produce.
That quest seems like it’s finally come to an end now, though, with the unbelievably bright new pigment that scientists at Oregon State University have discovered.
This unique, bold color was created accidentally when OSU chemist Mas Subramanian and his team were researching material for use in electronics. One test involved mixing manganese oxide (which is black) with other chemicals and heating it to 2000 degrees Fahrenheit. To the surprise of Subramanian and his colleagues, this sample turned a vivid, perfect shade of blue. Their accidental creation is made up of nontoxic chemicals and doesn’t fade, even when in contact with water or oil.
This new blue has been dubbed YInMn blue, for yttrium, indium, and manganese, which are part of the pigment’s makeup. It’s now licensed for commercial use, and will be utilitized in coatings and plastics. YInMn blue also has potential energy-saving properties: its high level of infrared reflectivity means that it could be useful on energy-efficient roofs.
YInMn blue is so bright and perfect that it almost doesn’t look real. It’s the non-toxic version of the world’s most popular favorite color: blue. Some people are calling this hue the best color in the world.
Here at Format, we recently did a search for the best photos of the ugliest color ever—so we decided we should also spend some time on finding out what the best color ever looks like out in the real world. From photos of divers deep in the ocean to crowds dancing at a concert, here are our favorite images of YInMn blue.