The World's Shiniest Natural Object (Is A Little Berry!)

September 12, 2012

shiniest-natural-object-1.jpg

These are the berries of Pollia condensata. Scientists have just named them the world's shiniest natural object after tests revealed they reflect nearly 30% of light. Are you thinking what I'm thinking? "I bet they pass through undigested like corn?" What? NO. I was gonna say we should rename them sparkleberries.

Twisting layers of cells scatter and reflect incoming light, and as the light bounces around inside layers, it gets intensified, and by the time it makes it out it's a vivid blue color. Slight differences in the spacing of the layers inside the fruit also create glittering reds, greens and purples.

Apparently the berries have no nutritional value, but trick wildlife into eating them and spreading their seeds by being so damn attractive. Not unlike myself. "You're ugly as shit, GW." I'm a monster, don't look at me! Okay, now look at me. "...Did you really just tape a picture of Christian Bale's face from 'American Psycho' to yours?" Nope! I glued it.

Hit the jump for a closeup of a dingleberry.

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Thanks to VEINED and Keith, who, just like babies, are attracted to shiny objects. Dammit, let go of my earring!

  • ZomBBombeR

    I was gonna get into that diamond discussion but I think billgates handled it well enough, and like others said I'm still interested to see what kind of booze you get from this???

  • Pretty!

  • McfeelySmackup

    Yet again, something mildly interesting that is over hyped to the point of ridiculous nonsense. These berries are quite obviously NOT the "worlds shiniest natural object"

    If you track the story back to it's original source at Smithsonian.com, no mention is made of them being worlds shiniest anything, or any reference to them even being shiny..the article is about the berries PERSISTENCE of color for decades after being picked.

    The interesting thing is the intensely colored berries have no pigment, the color is completely an artifact of reflective iridescence.

    But it seems some jackass at dvice.com couldn't think of a way to describe that (or understand it) in less than 10 words for a headline...and just made shit up.

  • MAS

    i thought it was water

  • Christopher Benson

    Does anyone else want to smear them all over their face? or is that just me?

  • Pascale Laviolette

    I dunno... I've seen some REALLY shiny beetles. What was the shiniest natural object up until this point?

  • Jermain Palmen

    Shinier than fish scales?
    Shinier than diamonds?
    Sure, seems legit...

  • BillGatesIsYourDaddy

    diamonds don't reflect they refract.
    and I am fairly certain a fish scale doesn't reflect more than 30%

  • McfeelySmackup

    Fair point, except for it being nonsense.

    Diamonds reflect AND refract. If they didn't reflect you wouldn't see light reflecting off of them.

  • n_a_a_s

    unicorn pooplets

  • Guest

    unicorn eggs, they're actually larger irl.

  • SgtRoadkill

    Who cares what it's nutritional value is? more importantly A) can you make booze out of it and B) what does it taste like?

  • dougfunnay

    you can makes booze out of almost anything but lacking nutrients the yeast will not be healthy and will probably makes some really nasty flavors

  • BillGatesIsYourDaddy

    your assignment if you choose to accept it...

  • Guest

    This is much shinier than a beetle's shell (beetle shells have an impressive shine).

  • BillGatesIsYourDaddy

    "no nutritional value" these would be perfect to sell to all the hipster vegans.

  • I bet a hipster vegan down voted you.

  • BillGatesIsYourDaddy

    damn tree huggers

  • Shiny wine.

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