10 Sep '12, 8pm

This surreally beautiful fruit is the world’s shiniest living thing:

This surreally beautiful fruit is the world’s shiniest living thing:

Pollia condensata looks like it’s wearing holographic nail polish, but it’s a real living fruit that grows that way — in fact, it’s the shiniest living thing in the world . The principle behind P. condensata’s gorgeous finish is basically the same as behind an iridescent beetle’s wings. The cells in the fruit’s husk contain layers of fibers that run parallel to one another, with each layer turned slightly relative to the one beneath it (like this ). Each layer reflects some of the light that hits it, and the spiral structure makes the reflected light waves line up so that they intensify each other. The wavelength of the light may be different from cell to cell, but all of them reflect extra-intensified light. Result: A mixture of really, really bright colors. This type of iridescent coloration was supposed to be reserved for insect wings and bird feathers – P. condensata i...

Full article: http://grist.org/list/surreally-beautiful-fruit-is-the-wo...

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