14 Mind-Blowing Facts About the Color Blue You Never Knew!

Beautiful blue buildings in Morocco

Blue is a symbol of loyalty, peace, and relaxation. It’s a bold color that goes well with a variety of other colors, and people all over the world are drawn to its positive connotations.

Even though we see the color blue frequently in our daily lives, there are many things about this hue that the average person doesn’t know. Let’s explore some fascinating facts about blue. Some of these are almost guaranteed to surprise!

1. Blue Is the Most Popular Color in the World

Man with blue jacket, blue eyes, and blue backdrop

Blue is the most common favorite color around the world, and it’s beloved by people of all ages and genders. It’s unclear why so many people adore the color blue, but it likely has to do with how calming it is. It’s also the color we see surrounding us in the sky and water, so it may be a familiar hue that people feel comfortable around.

Many people may simply like this color because very few negative things are blue. Whatever the reason, blue has consistently been the most popular color year after year.

2. Blue Is the Rarest Color in Nature

Blue butterfly resting on a leaf

Despite being the most popular color, blue is the rarest color in nature. This may seem incorrect since the sky and water look blue, but that’s because of how light interacts with it, not because those things are actually blue. When looking at plants and animals, blue doesn’t appear often. Plus, most things in nature that appear blue don’t contain blue pigments. Instead, the way light hits the object makes it appear blue to us, similar to how the sky and ocean look blue.

Our eyes have special cells called cones, which respond to certain light wavelengths. Only about 2% of those cones are sensitive to blue light, and the others are sensitive to red (64%) and green (32%) light. So, for something to appear blue, an object would need to absorb all the red and green wavelengths to reflect the blue wavelengths. That’s why things in nature are less likely to look blue.

3. Blue Suppresses Appetite

Blue blueberry pancakes on a plate

Certain colors can either make you hungry or decrease your appetite. For example, red and yellow are thought to increase appetites, which is why many fast-food chains use those colors in their logos. However, blue typically has the opposite effect, making people less hungry.

There are very few foods that are naturally blue, and blue is a common color of moldy food. So, when people see blue food, they sometimes associate it with being artificial or going bad. However, in some cases, people might see blue as a refreshing color for food since it’s the color of water, which is why some restaurants are still successful even with blue in their logos.

4. Weightlifters Are Often More Successful Around the Color Blue

Blue weights and running shoes

Being surrounded by certain colors may improve your focus when working out. Blue is known to improve concentration and productivity, so it’s a great color for weightlifters. Some people view blue objects as less heavy than red ones, making blue perfect for weightlifting equipment. Walls in gyms can also be painted blue, especially in areas with weights.

The color blue can even reduce stress, which is why it’s good for workouts that involve relaxation, such as yoga.

5. Blue Was Once the Most Expensive Pigment for Painters

White scoop in ultramarine pigment

Throughout history, blue has been a rare and expensive pigment for painters. Thousands of years ago, the first blue pigment, known as “lapis lazuli,” appeared. It was extracted from a limestone mixture and transported to nearby areas. Because of its rarity, it was most commonly used for accessories worn by royalty.

Not everyone had access to this coveted blue pigment because it wasn’t a natural earth color. Initially, it was so rare and hard to make that it was more expensive than gold. Over time, however, it became more accessible, allowing more artists to use it in their work.

6. Advertisements Use Blue to Promote Cleanliness

Blue cleaning products on the kitchen counter

Restaurants aren’t the only businesses that use colors to their advantage. Lots of advertisements purposely use colors to evoke certain feelings. In advertising, blue is often associated with cleanliness and good hygiene. So, it’s commonly used to promote cleaning products and personal care items. It may also be used to advertise places that want to be portrayed as clean, such as hotels and airlines.

Besides cleanliness, blue can also portray trust and security, making people feel more confident about the advertised business.

7. Certain Blues May Attract Mosquitoes While Others Repel Them

Mosquito biting through blue fabric

Mosquitoes are often unavoidable in the summer, but certain colors may attract or repel them. It’s suggested that mosquitos are drawn to dark colors rather than light colors because darker colors absorb heat better. Mosquitoes may be less interested in you if you wear pastel blues, but if you’re wearing dark blue, such as navy blue, you may find yourself with more mosquito bites.

Other colors less likely to attract mosquitoes are light-reflecting colors such as white, pink, beige, and yellow.

8. Thousands of Years Ago, Blue Eyes Didn’t Exist

Blue eyes up close

About 6,000 to 10,000 years ago, blue eyes appeared for the first time. Before that, everyone had brown eyes, which is why brown is the most common eye color. A genetic mutation in brown eyes caused blue eyes to occur, preventing the iris from producing melanin needed to create the brown hue.

Even though blue eyes have been around for thousands of years, they’re still uncommon, with only 8% to 10% of the population having them. That’s because blue is a recessive trait, so it’s much less likely to occur than brown eyes.

9. There Are Several Cities That Are Almost Entirely Blue

Blue city called Chefchaouen, Morocco

In Morocco, the city of Chefchaouen, also known as the Blue City or the 50 Shades of Blue City, is blue all over. Nearly every building is painted blue, and some of the sidewalks and decorations are blue as well. From a distance, the city is a gorgeous blue cluster that looks like something out of a fairy tale.

While the reason for this uniquely-colored city isn’t entirely known, there are lots of theories. One is that all the shades of blue represent the sparkling Mediterranean Sea. Another is that it was painted blue after World War II when the Jewish community in the city grew. They painted the city blue to match the color of the sky as a way to connect with God and heaven.

Jodhpur, India, is another city that appears almost entirely blue. Like Chefchaouen, most of Jodhpur’s buildings are painted blue from top to bottom. Since Jodhpur can get really hot, the blue is meant to reflect the sun’s rays to keep the houses cool.

10. Blue Used to Be More Common for Baby Girls Than Boys

Blue and pink baby shoes

When it comes to baby supplies, blue is frequently used for boys, and pink is for girls. Many people don’t follow those gender norms anymore, but they’re still well-known. However, in the early 1900s, pink and blue could be used for either gender. At one point, a magazine article about baby clothes even shared that the generally accepted rule was that pink was for boys and blue was for girls.

The reason behind that decision was that blue was seen as a delicate, dainty color like girls were back then. Then, pink was viewed as the stronger of the two colors. Yet, that didn’t stick for long. After World War II, pink for girls and blue for boys was the new norm.

11. Blue Light Can Make You More Relaxed

Woman's eye surrounded by blue light

Overall, exposure to the color blue can make people feel more relaxed, which can provide many positive benefits. Blue light is even said to lower blood pressure.

If you want to take advantage of this calming effect, try painting your bedroom light blue. Not only will it make you feel more relaxed, but it may also help you sleep better.

12. Blue Scrubs Make Patients Feel More at Ease

Young doctor wearing blue scrubs

While scrubs come in a variety of colors, blue is the most common. Blue is often associated with trustworthiness and relaxation, so having medical professionals wear blue clothes can help people feel better when they’re at the doctor’s office.

Patients may feel calmer during medical procedures or more confident that the person wearing blue knows what they’re doing. Blue is also a common scrub color because it helps neutralize stains better than other colors.

13. Blue Iguanas Aren’t Born Blue

Bright blue iguana climbing on tree

Blue iguanas are a rare reptile species found only on the island of Grand Cayman. Their bold blue skin is unique from other reptiles, especially since most iguanas are earth tones. However, these iguanas aren’t born blue.

Young blue iguanas are actually dark brown or green. As they grow up, they develop pale blue or bright turquoise coloring. However, in some cases, adult males could appear dark gray, and adult females could appear olive green.

14. Corn Can Be Blue

Several blue corn cobs

While corn is usually light yellow, it can sometimes occur in other hues, including an uncommon dark blue shade. Blue corn and yellow corn are botanically identical, besides one difference: blue corn is rich in anthocyanin content. That one difference causes the corn kernels to have blue/purple coloring instead of yellow. Blue potatoes and purple carrots are a few other examples of foods with anthocyanin that alter the pigment.

You can eat blue corn, which has about 20% more protein and a lower glycemic index than regular corn. However, it’s not meant to be eaten directly off the cob like yellow corn. It’s typically ground up and made into tortillas and tamales.