Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Lesson for the Day: World's Shiniest Living Thing Proves All That Glitters Isn't Gold

Scientists have declared the Pollia condensata, a berry found in Africa to be the world's shiniest living thing. I didn't even know that was a title out to be had. I'm sure Honey Boo Boo was bedecked in her rhinestone-studded pageant finery and trying her redneck best to be in the running for that title. But according to The Smithsonian, this rare fruit which looks like a metallic blueberry, beat out tougher competition than Honey Boo Boo, including the kaleidoscopic wings of the Morpho butterfly and the exoskeleton of the scarab beetle to earn this shiniest title.
But the lesson here is, that while this berry is a thing of iridescent beauty, it is not as delectable as it looks. It's apparently overcompensating for its lack of nutritional value and poor taste with its brilliant colorization. Scientists say that despite it being useless, it still attracts birds and tricks them into carrying it around spreading it's popularity and also into decorating with them to make their nests look more attractive. So basically it's nature's version of the new iPhone 5-it's shiny, attention-getting, and makes your look more attractive to own it, but really there is no purpose.
Scientists remark that the most fascinating aspect of the fruit is how it accomplishes its luminous look which is not from the pigment chlorophyll like most plants, but rather from a skin made up of cellulose that is structured in asymmetrical layers which refract light in nuanced ways. In studying this, they hope to mimick the glimmer for industrial applications and the invention of new textiles and materials using sustainable routes creating with natural and abundant materials like cellulose. While I do like the sound of natural made sustainable sparkle, I still can't help but think they are going to somehow use this for evil.
Anyway, expect shinier things and an iPhone 6, but don't be a bird brain and remember the lesson of Pollia-all that glitters is not gold.
Gold! And by wearing this I'll be like the Pollia and trick people into making me popular and bringing me home. Perfect.
And in case you need some sparkle in your day and are now wondering what makes things glittery:

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