Fruit of the “bastard hogberry” plant.
Inspiration can strike from the unlikeliest of places. Take the amusingly named bastard hogberry plant, for instance. Indigenous to South America, the fruit of the Margaritaria nobilis evolved its vibrant blue hue to entice birds to gobble it up and facilitate the dispersal of its seeds over a wide geographic area. By identifying and replicating the structural elements responsible for the fruit’s color, scientists from Harvard University and the University of Exeter managed to invent a new kind of photonic fiber that shifts from red to blue—and several colors in between—when subject to pressure.