Magenta is one of the inks used in traditional four-color process print, but strangely it’s not a color that we can directly perceive. It is an extra-spectral color, meaning that it is not found on the visible spectrum of light and it cannot be generated by a single wavelength of light; rather, it is a mixture of red and blue light.

In this video, Steve Mould demonstrates the interesting phenomenon of color mixing, in which not everything is as it seems. The cone cells within our eyes are responsible for the colors we see, but are only sensitive to Red, Green and Blue light. So how are we able to see so many colors when we can only directly detect three and how do our brains see the color magenta which doesn’t have a wavelength?