JUN 26, 2018 5:35 PM PDT

The Science Behind Iridescence in Animals

WRITTEN BY: Anthony Bouchard

You’ve surely heard of bioluminescence and fluorescence in animals, but have you heard of iridescence?

Iridescence is when an animal’s color appears to change when looking at it from different angles. This happens because certain pigment structures in the animal’s skin interfere with reflected light, causing different colors of light to scatter in every direction.

Notably, Iridescence occurs in many crystals and rocks just as it does in certain animals. There are two types of iridescence, including constructive interference and deconstructive interference; the former amplifies light, while the latter cancels light out.

Each type of interference yields a different kind of light reflection, causing us to see different colors as a result.

About the Author
  • Fascinated by scientific discoveries and media, Anthony found his way here at LabRoots, where he would be able to dabble in the two. Anthony is a technology junkie that has vast experience in computer systems and automobile mechanics, as opposite as those sound.
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