Report: You aren't colorblind, that's just the Virginia Union tower

A report released yesterday has confirmed that you are not colorblind, and that you are just simply making eye contact with the gray tower at Virginia Union University.

The two-year study by researchers at the University of Virginia sheds new light on the connection uncovered between the act of taking a glimpse of tbelgium.jpghe 161-foot carillon and the temporary feeling that you have lost all ability to distinguish colors within the visible spectrum.

“We can say with near certainty that there is an absolute absence of any color on the tower, that it is completely neutral in hue, and that you can, in fact, see all colors within a wavelength frequency of 400 to 790 terahertz – also known as ROY G. BIV,” Melinda Beverly, a UVa associate researcher and one of the report’s authors, told reporters on the lawn in front of the tower. 

“In addition, we found no evidence of windows or general texture whatsoever on the structure,” she added, “though it could really use some reds or blues, or maybe a deck or something.”

The ashen building is known as the Vann Memorial Tower, a gift – albeit a half-black, half-white gift – awarded to the historically African-American university by Belgium at the close of the 1939 New York World’s Fair. 

UVa’s Beverly said it was likely the tower is gray because in the year 1939 – according to photographs taken at the time – color did not exist.

Since arriving at VUU, the spire has been a centerpiece of the campus and has become a city landmark, a symbol of hope and peace that makes many people wonder if they’ve lost all ability to distinguish reds, greens or blues, the report said. 

Amanda Chenery, who frequently drives up Interstate 95 on her way home from work and observes the tower, agreed with the report’s findings.

“For a while there, I thought I had something in my contacts that totally limited my ability to see colors, so this is great to hear,” the Richmond advertising executive said.  “The tower certainly is beautiful though – in a dull, depressing and gray kind of way.”


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