‘Pink’ is desaturated red, but it approximates in common usage to magenta, a colour which is odd in that it ‘doesn’t exist’ in nature.
On a colour wheel, magenta comes between red and blue, but red and blue light are at opposite ends of the spectrum. For magenta light to exist, it would have to have a wavelength longer than red and shorter than blue, which is clearly impossible. So magenta, which is sometimes loosely described as ‘pink’, is a construct of the brain (‘a pigment of the imagination’): when we see red and blue light together, the brain interprets it as magenta.
Pink doesn’t really exist and this is why some optical scientists say the colour pink should actually be called ‘minus green’.
Casanova often used linen condoms which had a pink ribbon and a pouch at one end so they could be tied on.
I fell off my pink cloud with a thud.
‘Baker-Miller Pink’ (named after the two US Navy officers who invented it) is the technical name for the bubblegum colour you get by mixing a gallon of white paint with a pint of red paint. Research in the ‘60s and ‘70s seemed to show that the colour calms people down, suppresses their appetites and saps their strength. This led to it being used to paint the walls of jails, borstals and psychiatric wards all over the US – hence its alternative name ‘Drunk-Tank Pink’.
In 1991, a couple of US colleges tried painting the changing rooms assigned to visiting sports teams pink, in the hope that it would make their opponents passive. A new rule had to be introduced: these days the visiting teams’ rooms can be pink or any other colour you choose, so long as the home team’s rooms are the same colour. More recent research suggests the calming effect only works for about half an hour and, in the long term, may make things worse – reminding returning inmates of unpleasant prison experiences and making them angry.
The official city bird of Madison, Wisconsin is the plastic pink flamingo.
The vivid pink plumage of flamingoes comes from eating blue-green algae, not from eating pink shrimps. The algae is rich in carotenoid pigments similar to those found in carrots.
Flamingos always eat with an erection. They have large sections of of erectile tissue located on the floor of the mouth on either side of the tongue.
This material stabilises mouth and allows flamingos to eat by bending their necks, tilting their bills upside down in the water and swishing their heads from side-to-side.
In WW2, Spitfires were painted pink to camouflage them against low, pink-tinged evening cloud.
Slow buds the pink dawn like a rose
From out night's gray and cloudy sheath;
Softly and still it grows and grows,
Petal by petal, leaf by leaf.
So what! I'm still a rockstar, I got my rock moves, and I don't need you!
Pink lighting is used to discourage teenagers from hanging around shopping malls, because it highlights skin blemishes. Blue lighting is good for discouraging drug-takers, as it makes it more difficult to find a vein.
In Greenland, shrimps are known as ‘pink gold’.