Thursday, October 13, 2005

[Question] How many colors are in a rainbow?

Seriously, how many?

When I was asked how many colors I see in a rainbow, instead of telling the truth (three; I'm fracking COLORBLIND), I used the Roy G. Biv method (Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Indigo, Violet), and said seven.

This was not the correct answer, and it very nearly threw off the entire lesson (hint to JTEs: If you require a specific answer from your ALT, TELL THEM BEFORE CLASS!). The teacher eventually 'corrected' me and said that Americans see six and Japanese see seven.

Six? Really?

I asked a few Americans I know and I got answers ranging from (these are direct quotes) "Roy G Biv" to "that nevre gets old" (I admit, I didn't understand all of the responses).

So, how many colors do YOU see in a rainbow?


  1. haha smells like japanese BS ;D

    Btw, happy birthday, i think :)

  2. Seven, of course.

    Does it matter that I grew up in Hawaii (lots of rainbows =and= Japanese)?

    We also learned Roy G. Biv, but a while back I downloaded a song (from the 1950s) wherein they wanted kids to remember Vibgyor. WTF?

    Here's the song.

  3. WTF indeed.

    If you have trouble with that link, go to the songs page, the third category, and the third song from the bottom.

    BTW, I still haven't found a SINGLE American who says six colors yet. Perhaps it is an East-coast thing?

  4. I see 7 colors.

    I think the reason that some people only see 6 is because Indigo and Violet are fairly similar in color, so they tend to blend in with each other.

    Did you guys learn about Roy G. Biv like I did, by watching Bill Nye the Science Guy? He was actually on Larry King a while ago, I think talking about evolution vs. ID. He's so cool.

  5. Actually, I've heard that Bill Nye is kind of a jerk.

    I learned Roy G. Biv at school. I don't remember what grade I was in at the time.

  6. Looking at the fuzzy picture in your post I see:


    So I see six.