Saturday, June 23, 2012

Some women can see a hundred million colours

We saw this cloud right around noon on Wednesday. Those amazing colours lasted only a few minutes. It was basically a cloud-shaped rainbow. This photo doesn't do it justice. (I was in the car.) ETA: apparently it was a fire rainbow.

The most interesting thing about it, though, was that when I first stepped out of the house, I didn't notice it. Kelley did. "Wow," she said. "Look at that cloud!" and pointed. It looked like...a cloud. Utterly unremarkable. Normal cloud colour and everything. "Can't you see it?" she said. I said I could see the cloud, but it was, well, just a cloud. And as we were late, opened the car door, put my polarised sunglasses, and prepared to get in the car...and, Whap! the prismatic colours leapt out at me--not as bright as they are here (the cloud, and the colours, were moving fast; this was the tail-end of the light show, a pale shadow of its main glory) but clear. But Kelley wasn't wearing sunglasses; she could see the colours anyway.

Eventually I could see them, too, even without the sunglasses. But I didn't to begin with. And today I read this article, positing the existence of women who have super vision:
Living among us are people with four cones, who might experience a range of colors invisible to the rest. It’s possible these so-called tetrachromats see a hundred million colors, with each familiar hue fracturing into a hundred more subtle shades for which there are no names, no paint swatches. And because perceiving color is a personal experience, they would have no way of knowing they see far beyond what we consider the limits of human vision.
I sorta like the notion that my sweetie has superpowers...
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