Red is one of the most powerful colors that can be used to symbolize anything from courage and sacrifice to love and anger. It enjoys a unique place in the hierarchy of white light and is associated with the happiest of feelings and the worst. Something about this unique range of wavelengths evokes strong emotions and reactions, with symbolisms being equally represented on either side of the spectrum.
Red appears often in nature and can be seen in fruits like apples, pomegranates, and watermelons, and animals including the starfish, cardinal, and the scarlet ibis. It’s all around us.
But what makes red so intriguing? We are sharing 17 fun facts about the color red to learn more.
Facts About the Color Red
1. Red Symbolizes Romance and Love
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Red has always been associated with love and romance, it’s no wonder why events such as Valentine’s Day and romantic dates use the color as a standard. Over the years, red’s representation in romance and love has continued to grow even stronger.
This also explains why the red rose, an enduring symbol of desire and love for someone, plays such an iconic role. Did you know that the number of roses in a bouquet also symbolizes meanings?
2. Lobsters Turn Red After Being Thoroughly Cooked
This is a fact – one that has boggled scientists for years. Lobsters only seem to turn a bright red color once they are cooked for a specific time in hot temperatures. Many interesting theories have been raised to solve this phenomenon. The prevailing theory is that crustaceans used to blend themselves in with their surroundings to ward off predators.
Doing so releases two molecules – crustacyanin and carotenoid. When the special molecules are released, it becomes a distinct red color. This is apparently only possible after thoroughly cooking the lobster at a sufficiently high temperature.
3. Red-toned Hair is Among the Rarest in the World
Did you know that only about 1 percent of all people in the world have naturally red hair? This is because of a genetic mutation known as MC1R, a recessive gene that is only passed on through genetics.
It is worth mentioning that individuals with naturally red hair are more predisposed to getting sunburns and skin cancer because their bodies don’t have sufficiently high quantities of vitamin D in their bodies. This also explains why redheads may be administered more anesthesia before surgery to deal with pain, compared to individuals with dark or blonde hair.
4. The Largest Fox in the World is the Red Fox
The iconic red fox, also known as the Volpes Fox, is known to be the largest species of true foxes in the world. It is mostly found in the Northern Hemisphere and North America. The red fox has managed to survive through the toughest odds and has a reasonably high population in the wild.
Its diet consists of small animals such as rabbits, birds, and mice. Red foxes are omnivorous and may feed on plums, grapes, apples, and any other plants they may come across in the wild.
5. There Are Over 100 Shades of Red
Red has over one hundred known shades ranging from darker shades to lighter tones. Some shades include popular hues that most readers may be familiar with such as magenta, auburn, burgundy, maroon, and fuchsia.
Most of these shades are prepared by mixing different hues of white and black to the color, turning it lighter or darker based on the artist’s preferences. Individuals with color blindness may struggle to distinguish the different shades.
6. Human Blood is Red Because of Hemoglobin
Why do humans have such a visceral reaction to red? Perhaps because blood, our life force itself, is red in color. Human blood is red because of hemoglobin, a red-colored protein that carries oxygen through the bloodstream. Heme contains a single iron atom that binds to oxygen, allowing it to transport oxygen from the lungs to other parts of the body.
Did you know that a single red blood cell can hold nearly 270 million hemoglobin molecules, capable of binding to 4 oxygen molecules each?
7. How the Human Eye Processes Red
Despite its significance in literature and romance, the human eye takes a bit longer to process red. Instead, it detects yellow before red. This is why emergency rescue vehicles and cautionary signs are painted yellow in color. In fact, the peripheral vision for yellow is 2.5 times higher than for red.
Related: Fun Facts about Pomegranates!
8. Babies See Red First
The first color that babies see is red. This is because red has the longest wavelength of color from white. With that said, babies may not be able to perceive the color as clearly as older children or adults because they are still developing. At about three months old, babies can start to see several basic colors, more than just red. Their vision is fully developed in about four months, allowing them to see more colors and shades.
9. Combining Red with Yellow Can Make You Hungry
Most fast food chains spent years researching how to get their customers really hungry. They realized that customers spend more money buying food when everything is painted with a combination of red and yellow. You’ll notice this color pattern repeated over and over in advertising, restaurant décor, and branding.
10. Bulls Can’t See the Red Color
You’ll notice that most bull matadors flail a red flag (muleta) around bulls to agitate them. This gives the impression that bulls respond aggressively to the red color. This is simply not true because bulls are color blind and can’t see. Instead, Matadors irritate bulls by aggressively flailing the Muleta around until it gets agitated.
This triggers the bull’s fight or flight response and it charges into battle – often to its death.
11. Women Are More Attracted to Men in Red
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Studies have found that women are more attracted to men if they are pictured wearing red, compared to other colors. This may come as a surprise because it was perceived to be the other way round. However, surveys have confirmed that women also find red just as attractive as men.
12. The Significance of Red Lipstick
Red wasn’t always associated with romance. In the early 20th century, it was used to portray strength and power. It was used by women as a show of defiance during a time when men tried to keep them suppressed. However, over time, the color grew to symbolize intimacy and attractiveness. This is backed up by research and red lips are perceived to be arousing by men and women alike.
13. Mars is Nicknamed the “Red Planet”
Mars has been given the nickname the ‘red planet’ because of its appearance. The red colored planet gets its color from the rusty iron in the ground. In fact, the color appeared so distinctively red from the surface of the earth that the Romans decided to name it after their god of war.
14. The Red Line on the US Flag Represents Courage
The faint red line on the United States flag stands for courage. However, different cultures around the world have different perceptions of the color. For example, many Asian countries including China and India use red to symbolize happiness and wealth.
15. Red Has an Effect on the Heart Rate
Did you know that red light can increase a person’s heart rate? Red not only increases the heart rate and pulse, but it also raises blood pressure. It also has an influence on a person’s metabolism and appetite.
16. Black Roses are a Myth
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There is no such thing as a black rose, at least not naturally. Those that do have a darker tint are actually a darker shade of red.
17. The Grand Canyon is Red Because of the Presence of Iron
The Grand Canyon has a subtle shade of red because of the abundance of iron oxide that can be found as iron concentrations. Exposure to the atmosphere led to the iron minerals to oxidize, given the distinct orange and red hues.
The Meaning of Red in Russia and the Red Square
Red in Russia is “krasny”. This word can be used to denote any number of meanings, from love and passion to war and beauty. This mix-up in the meaning of the word led to the naming of Russia’s most popular Red landmark as “Red Square”. This is because the area was square shaped and well, beautiful.
Related: Intriguing Facts about Russia
The Hidden Meanings of Color Red
Red is a fascinating color and in this video, the uploader will explain what makes red so culturally important and show you examples of great designs and illustrations using red as the primary color.
So there you have it, 17 most interesting facts about the color red and its historical significance from around the world. Red will continue to play an important role in entertainment, culture, romance, and even politics. There is more to the color than meets the eye.
Have more facts to contribute to this blog? Send us a message and we’ll update the blog with your suggestions!
I’m Natalie Garcia and I started this website to share my love of trivia, facts and fun knowledge tidbits. We cover things like celebrity gossip, historical facts, tv shows, world leaders and just odd and random fun things. I started this site to have some fun with my hobby and share some useful information with you, our community. Please feel to send me your suggestions and feedback through the contact form. And if you have suggestions for things to write about, please shoot me a message!