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Purple is a versatile color. Combining the fire of red with the serenity of blue, it has the ability to soothe as well as excite passion. Purple is prevalent in nature in everything from eggplants to amethysts, and humans have adopted it as a symbol of royalty. Here, snow-covered fir trees appear lilac during sunrise in Germany's Black Forest. The forest is located in southwest Germany, where it is known as Schwarzwald. Streetlights create a play of color on an empty street corner in Arles, a historic city in Provence, France, and the setting of many well-known works by Dutch painter Vincent Van Gogh. A close-up shows purple crocuses flecked with bright yellow pollen in Washington, D.C.

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view Life in Color: Purple as presented by: National Geographic


ellow evokes the shine of the sun and is found throughout nature and the man-made world as a color that commands attention. This highly visible hue is found on everything from bumblebees to school buses, traffic signs to highlighters. Misbehaving soccer players are shown yellow as a warning, and Tour de France racers know the man in yellow is the rider to beat. The upper floors of Shanghai’s 88-story Jin Mao Tower provide a dizzying view of hotel rooms and offices below. Standing nearly 1,380 feet, the tower is one of the tallest buildings in China. The yellow hues of a small home in Lanai City, Hawaii, are matched by its owner's vintage Plymouth. Many residents of this village live in such pastel-pain ted cottages, first built for pineapple plantation workers. Eyelash vipers are indigenous to Central and South America and come in a variety of colors, including shocking yellow.

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The sweeping color of sea and sky, blue is a common thread in nature, seen in the cerulean of a whale shark (pictured here), the indigo of a stormy night, and the cobalt of a peacock's feathers. Over the centuries, the hue has come to represent calm, cold, mysticism, and sadness. The Roman aqueduct in Segovia, Spain, is pictured at twilight. Dating to the first century A.D., the well-preserved structure is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site. A dog jumps into Lake Banyoles in northern Spain. The lake is the country’s second largest.

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Red, the color of human blood, symbolizes passion, fire, love, and anger. In Eastern cultures, it also connotes luck and prosperity. Red occurs throughout nature, from dying stars to dying leaves, and humans have evoked its powers for everything from politics to sports. Rich red draperies and glowing paper lanterns transform a rocky cave into a magical wedding hall in China's Hubei Province. Red is the traditional color of Chinese wedding celebrations. Kenya's Lake Magadi blushes under a bacteria bloom following a rainstorm. The extremely salty, alkali lake holds little life, but its waters are a favorite spot for wading birds. Nothing can dampen the enthusiasm of Taipei schoolchildren gathered for a celebration of Double Ten, Taiwan's national day. Double Ten remembers the October 10, 1911, revolution that ended China’s last dynasty.

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In a nocturnal rendezvous, two green tree frogs meet face-to-face atop a leaf in Louisiana's Atchafalaya River Delta. Green may be the most common color found in nature—it's everywhere from leaves, grass, and moss to snakes, butterflies, and even the northern lights. Green represents life, vitality, nature, and, of course, environmentalism. A pool of water at the mouth of Rio Frio Cave reflects the greenery of Belize’s Chiquibul Forest and frames a visitor in silhouette. The easily accessible river cave is a popular attraction. Two boys share a nighttime bicycle ride down the darkened streets of Hoi An, Vietnam. The city's old town is a World Heritage site filled with historic buildings from the 15th to 19th centuries.

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view Life in Color: Green as presented by: National Geographic



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