Chapter 4

The Language Of Colours

Introduction: A Colourful World
What Is Colour? How Is It Made?
Design In Colours
Molecules That Produce Colour: Pigments
The Language Of Colours
A Topic Evolution Cannot Explain: Harmony And Symmetry

Just as colours are important for people in making sense of their surroundings, so are they indispensable for other living beings to survive.

Living beings have a "colour language" that works according to the light and the systems of perception they possess. Different colours bear different meanings for every living being. In order to survive, every living being has to know the language of colours used in its habitat, because vital functions can only be controlled by acknowledgement of this language.

So, how do living beings use this colour language?

First, the majority of living beings need the help of colours in order to find food. Second, the colours that exist on formations such as skin, scales and fur play an important role in the continuity of life due to their characteristics of absorbing or diffusing heat. In addition, living things use their colourings to protect themselves from their enemies. Owing to colours that harmonise with their habitat, they can camouflage themselves and hide from their enemies. Alternatively, their colourings and patterning may pose a discouraging image for their enemies. Colours also help animals to recognise their mates and chicks. A mother bird, for example, understands whether her chicks need food or not from the colours of their gapes. Similarly, the chick recognises its mother in this way and understands that the food has arrived.1As seen in these examples in nature, living beings need to know the meaning of colours in order to survive. In order to attain this knowledge correctly they need to possess proper systems of perception.

If they did not have these systems, they would not be able to perceive their surroundings properly or carry out their vital activities. They would not be able to recognise their foods or discriminate their enemies. Therefore, in this latter case they would stand out from the outside world and be an easy prey doomed to death.

Surely, no one can claim that such sophisticated systems might have come into existence by coincidence. Every system, every harmony, every design, every program, every plan, every balance must be created by a designer. There is certainly a higher will and power that has perfectly placed this harmony in living beings and the habitats in which they live. The owner of this power encompasses both the surroundings and the living being itself and the systems it uses with a higher knowledge. The owner of this power is Allah, Lord of the worlds.

When we examine living beings, we see how skilfully they employ the language of colours. Here are some examples of the language of colours, which has such an important place in the life of living beings:

Allah creates every colour on earth. The sky, mountains, crops, butterflies, red apples, oranges, parrots, pheasants, violet grapes, trees, in short, everything you see in your surroundings, possess these colours because Allah wills so. Allah states this fact in a verse as follows:

Do you not see that Allah sends down water from the sky and by it We bring forth fruits of varying colours? And in the mountains there are streaks of white and red, of varying shades, and rocks of deep jet black. And mankind and beasts and livestock and likewise of varying colours. Only those of His slaves with knowledge have fear of Allah. Allah is Almighty, Ever-Forgiving. (Surah Fatir: 27-28)


Camouflage is one of the most effective defence tactics that animals use. Self-camouflaging animals are under some kind of protection because of their body structures, which are created in great harmony with their habitats. The bodies of these animals are so harmonious with their environments that when you look at their pictures, it is almost impossible to tell if they are plants or animals, or to distinguish an animal and a plant present in the same environment from each other.

The living creatures that adapt their colourings according to the environments in which they live have always attracted the attention of scientists. Research focuses on finding an answer to the question of how a living creature can look exactly the same as a creature that is of a completely different structure.

Have you ever thought, for instance, how a frog, which, while walking in the garden, you took for a leaf, and then at the last moment skipped a step and avoided stepping on it, has it come to possess these patterns and colour? Camouflage is a very important defence mechanism for a frog. The frog that is unnoticed in its environment easily loses its enemies.

In the picture is a grasshopper imitating the bark of a tree. The camouflage employed by the grasshopper is so perfect that even the designs of the lichens on the tree are present on it. This is a perfect creation of Allah.

While a pink spider on a pink flower can successfully take on the flower's different shades of pinks of, another member of the same spider species can adapt to the colour of another flower, for instance, a yellow one, when it climbs on it.

While someone is looking at a branch, thinking there is nothing on it, a butterfly may fly away from it all of a sudden. This butterfly, which looked exactly like a leaf down to the dry, autumn-withered parts a second ago, is a perfect example of the miracle of camouflage.

As will be seen in the following pages, the similarity of living creatures to the objects on which they rest prevents their enemies from noticing them. It is obvious that these camouflaging creatures have not made themselves, on their own initiative, look like leaves, branches or flowers. What's more, they are not even aware that they are protected because of these similarities. Nevertheless, they employ camouflage very skilfully in all our examples without exception. An insect having the same colour as a flower, a snake standing still as a tree's branch, a frog adapting to the colour of wet ground, in short, all self-camouflaging creatures are evidence proving that camouflage is a specially created defence tactic.

No living creature can perform such a task on its own or by coincidence. Certainly, He Who bestows upon living creatures the ability to camouflage themselves, and places the chemical processes in them by which they can carry out this colour change, is Allah, the All-Knowing, the All-Wise.

The Misumena varia species of crab spiders seen on the left can assume different colours ranging from yellow to white, depending on the flower on which they land.2The spider species seen on the right stops moving only when the colour and configuration of the plant are those best suited to hide it.3

Some insect species protect themselves from their enemies by means of group camouflage. For instance, Phiatids, a species of tropical Hemiptera found in Madagascar, has full and brilliantly coloured wings. When they are resting on a tree trunk, as in this photograph, they resemble an inflorescence.4This misleads the hunters that look for insects.

1.David Attenborough, The Life of Birds, Princeton University Press, New Jersey, 1998, p.263
2.Marco Ferrari, Colors for Survival, Barnes and Noble Books, New York, 1992, p.22
3.Marco Ferrari, Colors for Survival, Barnes and Noble Books, New York, 1992, p.52
4.Marco Ferrari, Colors for Survival, Barnes and Noble Books, New York, 1992, p.20

Allah is Known Through Reason
The Creation of the Universe
Allah's Artistry in Colour
For Men of Understanding
The Design in Nature
The Miracle in the Ant
The Miracle in the Atom
The Miracle of the Immune System
The Miracle in the Spider
The Secrets of DNA
The Miracle of the Creation in Plants
The Existence of God
Tell Me About the Creation

This site is based on the works of Harun Yahya.
2004 Harun Yahya International.