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为什么大自然中蓝色那么罕见

Why Is Blue So Rare In Nature?

[开始]
[OPEN]
这个世界上没有蓝色的老虎
There are no blue tigers.
没有蓝色的蝙蝠 没有蓝色的松鼠或者蓝色的狗
No blue bats, no blue squirrels, no blue dogs.
甚至蓝鲸也并非那么蓝
Even blue whales aren’t that blue.
动物几乎拥有各种颜色
Animals come in pretty much every color,
但是蓝色似乎是最为稀有的
but blue seems to be the rarest.
但是当我们找到
What ’ s cool, though,
一只美丽的蓝色动物时 那便酷极了
is when we do find a blue animal, they ’ re awesome looking.
大自然并没有放弃蓝色
Nature doesn’t do halfway with blue.
为了搞清其中缘由
To understand why this is,
我们将从物种进化 化学 和酷酷的
we ’ re gon na journey through evolution, chemistry, and some
物理学中寻找答案
very cool physics. But,
但我们首先要弄清楚 为什么动物会有各种颜色
first we ’ re gon na need to understand why animals are any color at all,
而为了找到答案
and to do that,
我们需要看一些蝴蝶…
we need to go look at some butterflies…
因为这些蝴蝶真是太美了…
because butterflies are awesome… and if
如果你不这么认为 那么就错了 这是鲍勃·罗宾森
you don’t think so, you’re wrong This is Bob Robbins.
他是华盛顿自然历史博物馆
He ’ s curator of Lepidoptera at the National Museum
鳞翅类分馆的馆长
of Natural History in Washington D.C.
蝴蝶真的棒极了!
Butterflies ARE awesome.
这一点毫无疑问
Make no mistake about it.
它们是一种进化成在白天活动的飞蛾
They ’ re a group of moths that evolved to be active
如果你在白天非常活跃
during the day, and if you ’ re
就有一个天然优势
active during the day, you have an advantage:
你可以使用光来交流
You can use light to communicate.
你可能已经注意到
You probably realize this,
在所有昆虫中 蝴蝶有着最耀眼且精细的纹理
but out of all insects, butterflies display the brightest and most detailed patterns.
这有一个很好的原因:
And there’s a good reason for that:
蝴蝶翅膀上的颜色传达了信息
The colors in butterfly wings deliver messages,
如“我是有毒的”或者 “我是雄虫
like “ I ’ m toxic ”, or “ I ’ m a male
这里是我的地盘”
and this is my territory ”,
但并非所有蝴蝶的颜色都被创造得一模一样
but not all butterfly colors are created equal.
如果我们放大蝴蝶的翅膀
If we zoom way in on a butterfly wing,
就能看到这些颜色都来自于一些微小的鳞片组织
we see the colors come from tiny scales.
这就是飞蛾和蝴蝶的学名来源
It’s actually how moths and butterfliesget their scientific name. Oranges,
橙色 红色 黄色 棕色…这些微麟中都含有色素
reds, yellows, browns…those scalesall contain pigments, organic molecules that
一种能吸收所有我们看不见的颜色的有机分子
absorb every color except what we see.
黑色微鳞吸收所有颜色
Black scales absorb all colors. Animals,
在动物界中 从蝴蝶到鸟类 再到人类
from butterflies to birds to you and me,
我们的颜色都不是涂上来的
don ’ t make these pigments from scratch,
它们是从我们获取的食物的成分中来的
they’re made from ingredients in our diet.
你可以在火烈鸟身上了解到这一点
You might know this thanks to flamingos:
它们刚出生时是灰白色的 但是由于食用了
They ’ re born gray, but turn pink thanks to pigments
含有胡萝卜素的甲壳虫而变成了粉色
called carotenoids in crustaceans they eat.
因此对于这些颜色而言:吃了什么便会变成什么颜色
So when it comes to these colors: You are what you eat.
但对蓝色而言却不是这样
But not so for blue.
蓝色是不同的
Blue is *different*
如果你移动镜头
If you move the camera,
你会看到颜色会随镜头的移动而变化
you can see that the color changes as you move the camera.
确实如此
It does.
这就像全息影像
It’s like a hologram thing.
这是因为蝴蝶身上并没有蓝色色素
This is because there’s no blue pigmentin these butterflies
等等…它们看起来是蓝色的 但它们不是真正的蓝色?
Wait… so they’re blue, but they’re notreally blue?
没错!
That’s correct!
是的
Yes.
蝴蝶 你在欺骗我!
You’re lying to me butterflies!
这些是蓝色大闪蝶 或许是最美的一种蝶
These are Blue Morpho butterflies, maybe the prettiest butterflies of all.
我意思是…人们还用它做表情符号
I mean… they did make it the butterfly emoji.
它们身上的蓝色不是色素产生的
The blue color isn’t from a pigment.
这些蓝色来自它们本身微麟的形状
The blue comes from the shape of the wing scale itself,
当我明白这是怎么一回事以后
and when I learned how this works,
感到有点吃惊
it kinda blew my mind.
如果我们镜头向一个蓝色翅鳞拉近
If we zoom way in on a blue wing scale,
会看到这些细小褶皱
we see these little ridges.
而如果我们穿过这些微鳞 看得更近一点
If we slice across the scale, and look closer,
我们会发现这些褶皱看起来
we see those ridges are shaped like tiny Christmas
像迷你圣诞树
trees.
这种分枝的结构赋予了大闪蝶美丽的蓝色
The arrangement of the branches is what gives Morpho wings their blue color.
当光线照进来 一些会反射到表面
When light comes in, some bounces off thetop surface.
但有一部分光会进入表层并反射到底部
But some light passes into the layer and reflects off the bottom surface.
对绝大多数的光线
For most colors of light,
从顶部和底部反射出来的光波是凌乱的
waves reflecting from the top and bottom will be out of phase,
它们会相互抵消 那一部分光就会消失
they’ll be canceled out, and that lightis removed.
但蓝色光的波长正好:
But blue light has just the right wavelength:
它的反射光都是同步的
the reflected light waves are in sync, and
这种颜色就进入了我们的眼睛
that color makes it to our eye.
这些镜子般的走廊只让蓝光逃了出来
This hall of mirrors only lets blue lightescape.
甚至有一种色素
There ’ s even a pigment
吸收了在底部的偏振红光和绿光
at the base that absorbs stray red and green light to make
使得蓝色更加纯净
the blue even more pure.
这就是我们所看到美丽的闪蓝色
That’s how we get this awesome iridescentblue.
源自其翅膀自身的微观结构
The microscopic structure of the wing itself.
这一切的原因
All of this happens
就是光线从空气进入另一种物质时弯曲的方式
because of the way light bends when it moves from air into another material.
所以如果我们用其他物质而非空气充满这些小缝隙
So if we fill all those tiny gaps with something other than air,
比如酒精 那么蓝色就消失了
like alcohol, the blue disappears. Technically,
在技术上这叫做“改变折光率”
this “ changes the index of refraction ”,
但是简单来说
but in plain English that means
即蓝光不再正确地折射了
blue light is no longer bent the right way.
微型光线滤波器被破坏了
The microscopic light filter is broken.
直到酒精完全挥发
Until the alcohol evaporates.
蓝色又会重新出现
And the color returns.
但是这些蝴蝶生存在热带雨林
But these butterflies live in the rainforest.
你认为它们会在翅膀被打湿时
You think they ’ d lose their color
失去颜色吧?
any time they got wet, right?
那么来看看这个
Well watch this.
这些翅鳞其实是由天然防水的材料组成的
These wing scales are made of a material that’snaturally water-resistant.
它们在任何天气下都能保持蓝色
They stay blue in any weather.
那这支蓝色鸟羽呢?
What about this blue jay feather?
如果我们仔细观察它 颜色就完全消失了
If we look through it, the color completelydisappears.
没有蓝色色素
No blue pigment.
每片羽毛的刚毛上都有排列整齐散射光线的微小珠子
Each feather bristle contains light-scatteringmicroscopic beads, spaced so everything but
除了蓝色光 其他光都被抵消了
blue light is canceled out.
这些羽毛结构和我们发现的
Unlike the highly-ordered structures we find
高度有序的蝶翅结构不同
in butterfly wings, these feather structures
它们更凌乱 非常像泡沫
are more messy, like a foam,
因此它的颜色并不是随着我们的移动而改变
so instead of changing as we move, the color ’ s more even
而是在每个方向都变得更加均匀
from every direction.
雄孔雀尾羽呢?
Peacock tail feathers?
同样是由于羽毛的形状而非色素引起的
Again it’s the shape of the feather, notpigment.
然而它的光线折射结构更整齐有序
But the light reflecting structures here are more ordered,
如同一种晶体结构 所以在某些角度
like a crystal, so it ’ s brighter
它看起来更加明亮
from certain angles.
甚至有一种猴子――噢 请在家长陪同下观看!
There’s even a monkey–WHOA let’s keepthis PG!
甚至这种颜色也是由于皮肤的特殊结构
!–even that color is made by the
使光波进行叠加或抵消了…而不是源于色素
adding and subtracting of light waves thanks to structures in the skin… not pigment.
并且 没错 甚至你的蓝眼睛
And yes, even your blue eyes,
也是由结构呈现出来的颜色 而不是色素
are colored by structures, not pigments.
几乎所有的非海洋生物
Outside of the ocean, almost exclusively,
其蓝色是源自其微观结构
the bluest living things make their colors
并且它们各有细小的不同点
with microscopic structures, and each one’sa little different.
无论是鸟 哺乳动物 还是爬行动物
No vertebrate, not a single bird or mammal or reptile
这些我们所知的脊椎动物的身体上
that we know of, makes a blue pigment
都没有蓝色色素
on its body.
事实上 只有一种
In fact, there ’ s only one
已知的蝴蝶拥有能够创造真正的
known butterfly that has cracked the code for making a true
蓝色色素的基因
blue pigment.
蓝色作为一种色素在自然界真的很稀有
Blue as a pigment in nature is incrediblyrare.
但目前为止 我们发现一个特例
But there ’ s one exception so far
这里的蝴蝶叫做
that we know about, and these are over here called
橄榄蝶
the olivewings.
它们已经进化出了蓝色色素
They have evolved a blue pigment.
这是很不常见的
They ’ re not very common and we
我们也了解不多
don ’ t know much about them,
我也不清楚
and I don ’ t know of any
其他任何的蓝色色素
other blue pigment.
这真的是一种特别的蝴蝶
That’s a really special butterfly.
为什么几乎所有的自然中的蓝色
Why is almost all of nature ’ s blue made
都是由结构决定
from structures and not pigments like everything
而不像其他色素呢
else?
我询问了好几位从事色彩研究的科学家
I ’ ve asked this question to several scientists that study color,
他们目前最有说服力的
and here ’ s their best
理论即是:追溯到历史中某个时间
theory so far: At some point way back in time,
鸟类和蝴蝶都进化出了
birds and butterflies evolved the ability
看到蓝色的能力
to see blue light.
但它们至今没能进化
But they hadn ’ t yet evolved a
让身体染上蓝色的方式
way to paint their bodies that color.
但如果它们可以
But if they could,
这就像从早期的披头士乐队到
it ’ d be like going from early Beatles to Sgt.
爵士乐队一样
Pepper’s Beatles.
它意味着新的交流和生存机会
it meant new opportunities for communicatingand survival.
而创造蓝色色素
Creating some blue pigment–out
需要全新的化学反应
of the blue–would have required inventing new chemistry, and
而要直接在它们基因中加上这一反应是不可能的
there was no way to just add that recipe to their genes.
自然进化更倾向于改变身体的结构
It was much easier for evolution to change the shape
即使是在微观层面上通过物理的方式产生蓝色
of their bodies, ever so slightly,
这样轻微的改变
at the most microscopic level, and createblue using physics instead.
它们用工程学解决了生物问题
They solved a biology problem with engineering.
而我最喜欢的地方
What I love
正是这些颜色数百年以来都
about this is these colors have fascinated curious people for hundreds of
使人好奇而着迷
years.
在17世纪产生的第一个显微镜
After looking at peacock feathers
开始观察孔雀羽毛之后
through one of the first microscopes back in the 1600 ’ s
罗伯特·胡克曾写到“这些颜色是幻想之物”
Robert Hooke wrote:“these colours are onely fantastical ones”
甚至是艾萨克•牛顿都注意到这里有不同寻常的东西
Even Isaac Newton noticed there was something unusual
有关这些蓝色 科学家们
about these blues, and scientists
已经研究它很久了
have been studying it ever since.
不仅仅是因为科学是有趣的 也因为它是美的
Not only because the science is interesting,but because it’s beautiful.
感谢收看 请保持你的好奇心
Thanks for watching, and stay curious.
好的
Okay, alright.
因此你认为 你 你还在笑话我
So you think you…you are still…joke me
噢 毫无疑问 我从事这份研究了很长时间
Oh, without any question, I ‘ve been doing this a long time
没问题那么 曾经有一种舞蹈
-Ok. -So, so uh… there was a dance, emm
不知道怎么回事 蝴蝶们不在那里
The butterfly wasen’t there how come.
有一种没有蝴蝶的舞蹈?对
-There was a dance with butterfly wasen’t there?-Yeah.
它们是樟脑球
Those are mothboll.
[笑声]
[Laughter]
我说的对吧?
I tell, won’t you?
好吧 他赢了 那是 那是…
Ok, he wins,that was,that was…

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视频来源

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