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People 'mind-blown' after finding out blueberries aren't actually blue

People 'mind-blown' after finding out blueberries aren't actually blue

The bizarre fruit fact has left people stunned - and second guessing their vision.

You think you're week is trundling along fine and then the rug gets pulled from underneath you - but you never suspect one of your favourite fruits to be to blame.

The produce aisles are supposed to be one of the least problematic places in a supermarket, yet the fruit and veg section is now being viewed in a new light after people found out one of the greengrocer's best kept secrets.

It's blueberries... they aren't actually blue.

Yep, you read that right - even though blackberries are black, peaches are peach, cherries are cherry red and oranges are orange, it turns out our favourite porridge topper has been masquerading as a berry that is blue all this time.

I mean, their colour doesn't take away from the fact that they're still considered a 'superfood', are rich in antioxidants, potassium and vitamin C and can boost your brain power... but it's a bit of a con, all the same.

The British public seem to think so anyway, after Radio 5 Live host Rachel Burden burst their blueberry bubbles during the breakfast show on Thursday (8 February).

Just as people were plopping the little things all over their morning pancakes. Good timing, Rach.

Blueberry lovers can't believe the news.
Getty Stock Images

She was well aware people would be pretty taken aback when she shared the news with co-host Chris Warburton, while warning that her bizarre fact would 'raise an eyebrow or two'.

The host said: "I read this morning that blueberries aren't blue. It's a trick of the light."

Chris spoke for the lot of us when he responded saying: "Get out of here! Get out of town."

The pair then began to discuss the landmark findings made by scientists at the University of Bristol which emerged earlier this week.

Basically, research found that blueberries only appear to have that trademark navy hue due to a trick of the light.

Believe it or not, the skin of the fruit is black and the berry juice is red - and there is no trace of any blue pigment in either the flesh of the berry or its skin.

It turns out that the colour we see comes from a colourless, two micron-thick wax layer which covers a blueberry, and has an intricate microscopic structure which 'interferes with light itself and makes it seem blue to the naked eye'.

The bizarre fruit fact was discovered at the University of Bristol.
Getty Stock Images

If you blast a blueberry under a white light or the Sun, this will hit the wax, bounce around its structure and appear blue when it is reflected as a result.

Scientists stripped some blueberries of the wax, recrystallised it on a piece of card and analysed it in a lab - before discovering that the wax reflected both blue and ultraviolet light.

Humans cannot see ultraviolet light, so the berries appear to be blue to us.

Wild, right?

A research fellow at Bristol's School of Biological Sciences, Rox Middleton, explained: "The blue of blueberries can't be 'extracted' by squishing – because it isn't located in the pigmented juice that can be squeezed from the fruit.

"That was why we knew that there must be something strange about the colour."

Rachel said of the study: "That was a tiny bit of my mind blown this morning."

You and me both, Rachel.

Featured Image Credit: Getty Stock Images

Topics: Food And Drink, News, Weird, Science