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Modern Mysteries

Woman with 'superpower' can see 100 million colors

By T.K. Randall
January 31, 2022 · Comment icon 23 comments

Antico has appeared in numerous TV documentaries. Image Credit: YouTube / BBC
Artist Concetta Antico has a view of the world unlike any other thanks to a unique feature of her eyes.
For much of her life, Antico didn't realize that there was anything special about her vision.

Around ten years ago, however, she discovered that the incredibly rich coloration of the world around her was a spectacle not shared with the rest of the population - it was a special and unique gift.

Antico is what is known as a tetrachromat, which means that her retinas have four color receptors instead of the normal three, enabling her to see 100 million colors (as oppose to 1 million.)

This remarkable psychedelic view enables her to see subtle colors in everyday things and has heavily influenced her art, her personal style and just about everything else about her life.
"It's not just an affectation and it's not artistic licence," she said of her art.

"I'm actually painting exactly what I see. If it's a pink flower and then all of a sudden you see a bit of lilac or blue, I actually saw that."

"I didn't know I was not experiencing the world like other people were. For me, the world was just really very colourful. It's kind of like, you don't know you're a zebra unless you're not a zebra."

"I always felt like I was living in a very magical world. I know children say that, but for me, it was like everything was hyper-wonderful, hyper-different. I was always exploring into nature, delving and trying to see the intricacies, because I'd see so much more detail in everything. "

Source: The Guardian | Comments (23)

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Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #14 Posted by saywhat 2 years ago
True story.
Comment icon #15 Posted by godnodog 2 years ago
If I am not mistaken this documentary is several years old or its similar to one I've seen some years ago. In it they showed how color perception affects human vocabulary, they show the curious case of an african tribe with words green and brown, where they do a westerners vs them and colour differentiation of green and brown tests. Also the colour blue and green in western civilization.
Comment icon #16 Posted by and then 2 years ago
Right?  She only sees the colors.  Wait til she gets to smell or hear them 
Comment icon #17 Posted by fred_mc 2 years ago
Yes, the himba tribe, they see colours quite differently due to using different words, they can easily see different nuances of green that we can't but struggle to differ between green and blue, interesting: It's also interesting that words for colours often come in the same order when languages develop. The colour blue often comes late. That is why Homer describes the sea as wine dark in the Iliad and the Odyssey, there was no word for blue yet: . Other ancient texts... [More]
Comment icon #18 Posted by qxcontinuum 2 years ago
I am tetrachromat too, just performed this test  I see 39 nuances of colors 
Comment icon #19 Posted by Jon the frog 2 years ago
I see more than 40... don't think your test is valid.
Comment icon #20 Posted by L.A.T.1961 2 years ago
One problem with any internet test is how well the screen is set up and settings used. The same person could get different results by viewing the same test on different computer/screen combinations.  
Comment icon #21 Posted by qxcontinuum 2 years ago
Comment icon #22 Posted by qxcontinuum 2 years ago
even when you go to perform this type of tests in a specialized place, they'll still ask you to stare an older crappy computer and count those colourful lines . 
Comment icon #23 Posted by Scholar4Truth 2 years ago
At least she clarified what she meant, otherwise I would of thought she was on an LSD trip.

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