Scientists Discover World’s Oldest Colours From Rocks Beneath Sahara Desert in Africa

Scientists Discover World’s Oldest Colours From Rocks Beneath Sahara Desert in Africa

The university received the rocks from an oil company that was looking for oil in the Sahara desert about a decade ago.

Scientists from Australia, Japan and the USA have uncovered what they're calling the oldest colors on Earth.

Pigments taken from the marine black shales of the Taoudeni Basin in Mauritania, West Africa, are reportedly more than 1.1 billion years old, half a billion years older than any other previously discovered pigments according to Business Insider.

"Bright pink pigment is a molecular fossil of chlorophyll, which produced the ancient fotosinteza the organisms inhabiting the ocean which has long disappeared", she said in a statement.

Scientists in Australia say they've discovered the oldest color found in nature: bright pink.

The ANU researchers crushed the billion-year-old rocks to powder, before extracting and analyzing molecules of ancient organisms from them. We looked at just about every conceivable rock of this age before and found nothing.

The new discovery, dating back 1.1 billion years, is a neat first step towards plugging that hole.

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Science says the oldest colour in the world is bright pink.

Dr Brocks said an analysis of the pigments showed they were being produced exclusively by tiny cyanobacteria in the oceans of 1.1 billion years ago.

Although the Earth is about 4.6 billion years old, animal-like creatures only emerged about 600 million years ago.

And that pigment was a fetching shade of pink.

"I remember I heard this screaming in the lab", Jochen Brocks, senior author on the paper in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences tells Henriques-Gomes. It remains a mystery why this is - "what we do know is that this suggests these pigments we found belonged to cyanobacteria and not algae", Brocks said. This helps to explain why animals didn't exist at that time.

The scientists were able to provide us not only with the oldest biological pigment, but also with an answer to the question about the origin of life on Earth. And you need these larger particles as a food source for larger creatures to evolve.

Still, cyanobacteria were not considered a strong enough source of nourishment, giving way to the argument that bigger and more complex organisms were not around during that time because of the lack of food supply. Cyanobacterial oceans are believed to have begun to vanish about 650 million years ago.

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