What do a dead blue snake that was green when it lived, a modified, hardened beetle forewing that is still vibrant after 50 million years (PDF), the shiny blue Pollia condensata berries (previously), and a wide variety of blue-colored birds have in common? Structural coloration, specifically the structural designs of a variety of reflective prism structures that overcome the natural difficulty to create blue (and green) colors.
In the year 2525 if man is still alive, future generations will be able to consult this book or type a request into their DIY UNIT™ and reproduce the effect of wood or marble.
A rabbi, some snails, the color purple, and a 1,500 year old mystery. By puzzling through various sources, a group of researchers and religious scholars think they have found in the mollusk Murex trunculus the source of a purplish dye that was used in ancient Jewish ceremonies over a millennia and a half ago. Murex has been used for the last 3,600 years to make Imperial or Tyrian Purple, a key color in the ancient world. There are many other pigments with their own interesting stories as well.