Only 25% of People Can See All These Colors. Can You?

Jun 1, 2015 at 3:51 pm |

vision test colors

Look at the color spectrum above. How many colors can you see?

According to a popular article from LinkedIn that made its rounds a while back, this test is one of the best available indicators for the full efficiency of the cones— light and color receptors—in the human eye.

Most humans have three types of cone cells in their eye (long, medium, and short), but there is a very small population believed to have a fourth type of cone. These people, called tetrachromats, are more adept at picking up certain wavelengths of light that most people cannot; therefore, experiencing a slightly enhanced perception of color.

The LinkedIn article, which has since been dismissed by experts, went so far as to state that people who could see more than 32 colors on the spectrum were tetrachromats. Not surprisingly, soon hundreds of people were falsely tricked into believing that they possessed rare and enhanced vision.

Did you count your colors yet? Here are the results given by the original test:

Fewer than 20 colors: Chances are you might be a dichromat, with only two functioning types of cones in your eyes. You’re not alone though: many people and animals suffer from some degree of colorblindness. You might be a fan of more neutral (beige, black, and blue) clothing.

Between 20 and 32: Most people fall into this category of trichromats. You most likely perceive colors the same way as the majority of people around you, with the ability to both see and enjoy many various hues.

Between 33 and 39: Wow! According to the original report, if you can make out this many distinct colors, you might be a tetrachromat! Chances are you get easily irritated by the color yellow.

More than 39: Impossible! Between human ability and the colors your computer can actually reproduce, there’s now way you can see more than 39 colors on the screen.

After the test got super popular, experts took to the web to cite research and debunk the original article. According to several color vision researchers, tetrachromacy is exceedingly rare in humans, with a lower likelihood among men than women. Secondly, computers aren’t capable of displaying colors in a way that allows tetrachromats to perceive them differently.

Is it real? Is it fake? Who cares: it’s fun! How many colors did you count? Let us know below.


Click through to the next page to try out more vision tests!


Are you among the 1 in 4 with perfect color vision?