Posted 7/10/2020

“Color is just a word to those who cannot see it”

“PINGELAP ATOLL, A Micronesian island in the South Pacific, sometimes goes by its other name, the Island of the Colorblind. That’s the moniker Oliver Sacks assigned the island in his 1996 book that explored the human brain.

Today roughly 10 percent of the island’s people are still believed to have the gene for the condition, known as complete achromatopsia, a rate significantly higher than the one-in-30,000 occurrence elsewhere in the world. But 10 percent is also high enough that the concept of color—and who can see it—has acquired new meaning among people in Pingelap.

Belgian photographer Sanne De Wilde has used the island and the concept of color blindness to inspire a series of images on genetics. During a visit to Pingelap in 2015, she created photos showing the world as a color-blind person might see it. “Color is just a word to those who cannot see it,” De Wilde observed. “What I’m really trying to do is to invite people to a new way of seeing and interacting with the world,” says De Wilde.” Read her story and see her images here.

Watch this video to See How Color Blindness Works and see how different colors look through different “color vision deficiency” (CVD) lenses.

Famous Color Blind People & other interesting facts about color blindness – There are many public figures with color blindness, here’s a few:

  • Robert Redford – American actor
  • Sting – British musician
  • George Clinton – American musician
  • Jack Nicklaus – American professional golfer
  • Prince William – Prince of England, Duke of Cambridge
  • Mark Zuckerberg – Facebook CEO and founder
  • Fred Rogers – American television actor, host of Mr. Rogers
  • Bing Crosby – American musician

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