The Shiniest Living Thing On The Planet Award Goes To The Pollia Condensata Berry

It almost looks fake, right? These little blue berries from a tropical plant called Pollia condensata are the shiniest living things on the planet.

Ullrich Steiner, a scientist who studied the berry, says that the Pollia berries aren’t too impressive when you first see them because they are so small. But a closer look at the berries reveals a remarkable color.

Steiner said: “I wasn’t terribly impressed because [the berry] is not very big.”

Steiner measured the intensity of the berry’s color and found that it was the shiniest living organism in the world. According to NPR, most objects reflect just a small amount of light. The Pollia Condensata berry, however, reflects nearly 30 percent of the light.

In order to give people some idea of how shiny the berry actually is, Steiner noted that the morpho butterfly and the scarab beetle, two of the most brilliantly colored animals in the world, don’t hold a candle to the Pollia berry.

Steiner said:

“We find that it is more intense than, for example, the morpho butterfly, which is usually cited for being one of the most brilliantly colored animals.”

And if that doesn’t help you at all, here’s a photo of the morpho butterfly.

morpho blue butterfly

According to Steiner, the berry from the Pollia Condensata is so bright that birds use it to decorate their homes. Steiner hypothesizes that the berry has developed such a rich color because it has no nutritional value. But since it is such a bright and shiny object, birds pick it up anyway and help the fruit spread its seeds.