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Uncommon Knowledge: What is the shiniest living thing?

In the forests of Africa, you might just feast your eyes upon the brilliant coloring of the marble berry. Its clusters of brilliant blue fruit are considered to be the shiniest thing in nature, and they shimmer with pixelated sparkles. This effect is caused by layers of overlapping fibrous cells that cause the light to reflect and refract. These berries, however, are the ultimate triumph of style over substance: the brilliant surface contains nothing but seeds, with no flavor or nutritional value. The advantage of all this razzle-dazzle is that the plant tricks birds into eating and spreading its seeds, without having to go through all of the work of producing something temptingly sweet.

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Written by Nathan

Nathan is a copywriter, who helps create our product descriptions as well as our weekly emails. He is also a nationally award-winning musical theater writer, whose work includes an adaptation of Lois Lowry’s novel The Giver. Nathan has also been a classical violinist, tutored Kazakhstani jewelers in entrepreneurship, created large-scale games played across entire city blocks, served as a missionary in South Korea, conducted experiments in sonoluminescence, co-founded an exotic fruit-growing business, was a theater critic for Tucson Weekly, and as a teenager composed a women’s jazz quartet that is currently performed around the world.

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