Questions & Answers
Marvels that can change our perception of the world
They change the color of their skin depending on their temperature, surroundings, and mood. Now researchers have discovered what enables this phenomenon: Inside a chameleon’s skin there are tiny crystals that reflect light (see graphic). The crystals adjust the chameleon’s hue by altering their proximity to one another. In this way a color spectrum is formed that’s determined by the distance and relative index of refraction of the nanocrystals.
EXCITED Bold colors can express aggression or a willingness to mate. The crystals in the spherical cells move away from one another to express this and reflect light in such a way that a yellow, orange, or red hue is produced.