Never stop conquering the world! Always current, never banal. And yet pink is the oldest color in the world. This was confirmed by a group of Australian researchers who discovered ancient pink pigments in rocks 1.1 billion years old beneath the Sahara Desert, more precisely in the Taoudeni Basin in Mauritania, West Africa. According to Dr. Nur Gueneli, who conducted the research for the Australian National University, these bright pink shades are over 500 million years old compared to the oldest pigments already known and are a wonderful product of ancient oceanic organisms.
As explained to Business Insider: "Bright pink pigments are the molecular fossils of chlorophyll produced by ancient photosynthetic organisms residing in an ancient ocean, unfortunately long gone. Researchers have discovered crushed billions of years old rocks by reducing them to dust, extracting and analyzing every single molecule taken in. When diluted, these ancient pigments appear bright pink, but when they are concentrated they can change from red vibrant to deep purple.
A discovery with (many) historical implications
The discovery that pink is the most ancient color on Earth is not the only result of this study on findings in the Sahara deep: pigments have allowed researchers to confirm that ancient marine ecosystems were dominated by small alien cyanobacteria, a type of bacteria that take over energy through photosynthesis. The discovery shows a beautiful piece of evolution for these very ancient microorganisms: "Accurate analysis of ancient pigments confirmed that small cyanobacteria predominated at the base of the food chain in the oceans a billion years ago, which helps explain why animals do not existed at the time, ”Gueneli added.
The cyanobacterial oceans began to disappear about 650 million years ago, that is, when the algae began spreading rapidly allowing the explosion of energy needed for the evolution of complex ecosystems, in which large animals including humans can thrive.