Is Magenta a Color?

By Liz Elliott of says, “Magenta ain’t a color.” A beam of white light is made up of all the colours in the spectrum. The range extends from red through to violet, with orange, yellow, green and blue in between. But there is one colour that is notable by its absence.

Pink (or magenta, to use its official name) simply isn’t there. But if pink isn’t in the light spectrum, how come we can see it?

Here’s an experiment you can try: stare at the pink circle below for about one minute, then look over at the blank white space next to the image. What do you see? You should see an afterimage. What colour is it?

You should have seen a green afterimage, but why is this significant?

The afterimage always shows the colour that is complementary to the colour of the image. Complementary colours are those that are exact opposites in the way the eye perceives them.

It is a common misconception that red is complementary to green. However, if you try the same experiment as above with a red image, you will see a turquoise afterimage, since red is actually complementary to turquoise. Similarly, orange is complementary to blue, and yellow to violet.

All the colours in the light spectrum have complements that exist within the spectrum – except green. There seems to be some kind of imbalance. What is going on? Is green somehow being discriminated against?
From, thanks BoingBoing!