Here's How People Try to Explain Colors to a Blind Person

Tommy Edison, who has done many videos about what it's like to have been blind since birth, recently asked people to describe colors to him. And the result says a lot about our emotional connection to color, which can differ from the reality a fair bit.


Clearly, color means more to us than its literal definition on the visible light spectrum. We see this in things like the Ancient Greeks' lack of a word for blue. People associate colors with certain things, even if they are also available in the opposite. For example, when a girl calls brown "yucky" and "muddy," Edison fires back with the fact that chocolate is brown.

My favorite part is the discussion of grey as "the smell of rain on asphalt" or "the way cotton candy feels." Edison asks if that means grey is soft and he gets an emphatic answer to that from one interviewee and a "but metal is grey and hard" from another. I guess it depends on whether you associate grey with metal or, as I do, with clouds and wool.

What's interesting is that some colors don't cause that kind of problem. Red is a color to watch out for and blue is calming. But for other colors, there's a bit of an identity crisis.

[via Tastefully Offensive]



Strange that nobody used a heat analogy. Actually it would interesting to hear how Edison describes any sensory flashes he experiences, unless he is in that rare totally black band.