Health Science

Orange. Which came first, the color or the fruit?

It was the wavelengths that we identify as the color orange. Those wavelengths have existed ever since an electromagnetic spectrum included them.

The Color orangeThat was somewhere back when our universe first sprung into light, stars began to ignite and photons made their way to the surface of their stars and started their travel through our universe – perhaps 100 million years after the Big Bang.

Granted, there wasn’t any civilization around to see it.

Visible white light you’ll remember is a rainbow of colors mixed together , which can be split by a prism into their different wavelengths which we then see as different colors.

The color orange falls between 590 and 620 nanometers at a frequency of 484-508 Terahertz. It is a blend of yellow and red wavelengths.

The fruit orangeThe etymology of the WORD orange, describing the fruit comes from Sanskrit, “naranga” , reaching Europe by way of Persia (Iran) and  through Arabic trade routes.  Earliest mention of the Orange was in Chinese manuscripts from about 314 BCE, but likely cultivated in China as early as 2500 BCE. 

The origin of the use of the word Orange as a color is derived from the color of the fruit. Supposedly prior to the fruit being introduced into Europe the color we call orange was referred to as “saffron”.

Any thoughts on Orange or Oranges?

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