Ever wondered why doctors wear white lab coats whenever we see them, but not during operating procedures? It turns out the blue or green scrub suits have significant reasons than just a choice of color.
Before 20th century, scrubs used by medical professionals were white, presumably the color of cleanliness. However, in 1914, an influential doctor innovated from this tradition in favor of a green, and subsequently, blue one.
It’s no accident that surgeons wear green or blue scrubs. There is an actual science behind it.
This was due to the glare or blind moments surgeons experienced whenever shifting their gaze from the dark color of blood to the immaculate white color of their colleagues’ scrubs. But why green or blue, you ask? They could have used purple or yellow, right?
The answer lies on the position of the colors on the spectrum of visual light. Green and blue are the opposite of red on the color wheel.
During an operation, a surgeon stares at bloody innards for a period of time, making him desensitized to it. In other words, the red signal in the brain actually fades making it harder to see subtle differences inside the human body. Looking at something green from time to time can keep the eyes more sensitive to variations in red.
The color of their scrubs actually helps surgeons to be successful in their operations.
Furthermore, focusing deeply on the color red can lead to distracting green illusions on white surfaces, like for example, a white scrub. The illusion would follow the surgeon’s gaze wherever he or she looks. Remember the floating spots we see after taking pictures with a glaring camera flash? That’s pretty much it.
Still not convinced that staring at colors for some time can mess with your mind? See the video below. Warning: Some say the effects of this optical illusion could last for as long as three months. Watch at your own risk.