On This Day 9 July

By TheBoldAge. Published 2020-07-09
In 1762 Catherine the Great started her reign and in 1815 France's first Prime Minister was in place; the Commonwealth of Australia was assented in 1900; in 1981 Donkey Kong was released and in 1999 the Scottish Parliament formally opened. Read about the discovery of the world's oldest colour in 2018

Pink pink pink - over a billion years old

In 2018 as part of Dr Nur Güneli's PhD studies, and with other scientists from Australian National University and other organisations, the oldest colour on record were extracted from rocks in the Taoudeni Basin region of Africa - part of the Sahara desert.


The pigments extracted were bright pink and are "...the molecular fossils of chlorophyll that were produced by ancient photosynthetic organisms inhabiting an ancient ocean that has long since vanished".

The rocks were crushed into a powder after which the molecules were extracted and analysed and in concentrated form were bright pink as can be seen below.


The research paper is available here if you are interested in reading more about it.

The Taouideni Basin is an area where salt mining is still being done. Take a little journey with salt through this video showing the region.

Other events on this day

  • 1762: Catherine the Great overthrew Peter III and began her reign as Empress of Russia
  • 1815: Charles Maurice de Talleyrand-Périgord became the first Prime Minister of France
  • 1900: Commonwealth of Australia established by the House of Commons
  • 1981: Donkey Kong was released by Nintendo
  • 1999: formal opening of the Scottish Parliament by the Queen
  • 2018: scientists identify the worlds oldest biological colour as pink from shale rock in Taoudeni, Mauritania
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