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Most of us might think that the world's oldest colour is black or dark grey. However, scientists have found out that bright pink is the oldest known colour. Researchers looked at 1.1-billion-year-old rocks deep beneath the Sahara Desert. They crushed the rocks into powder and found the bright pink colouring in them. This means that pink is the oldest colour on geological record. Dr. Nur Gueneli from the Australia National University led the research. She made the discovery in a lab in Australia. Dr. Gueneli said the colour was produced by ancient organisms that lived in the oceans. She added that the oceans are so old they no longer exist. At that time, tiny organisms were the largest life forms on Earth.
Dr. Gueneli said her first reaction was "sheer amazement". She said her team thought the rock powder might turn black when they were doing their experiments on it. Instead, it turned pink. Another researcher said: "I remember I heard this screaming in the lab. Dr. Gueneli came running into my office and said, 'look at this,' and she had this bright pink stuff…It turned out to be real colour, 1.1 billion years old." The rocks could contain other colours, from a blood red to a deep purple. Gueneli explained how important her find was. She said: "Imagine you could find a fossilized dinosaur skin that still has its original colour - green or blue. That is exactly the type of discovery that we've made."Comprehension questions
- What colours did the article say we might have thought were the oldest?
- How old were the rocks the scientists looked at?
- What did the scientists do to the rocks to turn them into powder?
- Which university are the researchers from?
- Where are the oceans in which ancient organisms lived?
- What was Dr Gueneli's first reaction?
- What colour did Dr Gueneli initially think the rock powder would turn to?
- What did a researcher hear coming from a lab?
- What other two colours did researchers say could be in the rocks?
- What did Dr Gueneli compare her discovery to?
Back to the pink lesson.