The emotional moment a colourblind man sees his first real sunset

A video of a man watching a stunning sunset wearing a pair of special glasses for colourblind people has gone viral online

Have you seen a magificent sunset recently? Chances are the answer is yes. In fact, we see them all the time. But for people who suffer from colourblindness the range of vivid colours in a typical sunset appear much more muted than for the rest of the population.

Colourblindness, or colour vision deficiency, affects around one in 12 men, and about one in 200 women (it is more common in men because the most common inherited gene for colourblindness is found on the X chromosome; females have two X chromosomes, and a functional gene on one of the X chromosomes is enough to cancel out a defective gene on the other). For those individuals the colours red and green appear muted, or black or the same as each other.

Although there is no cure for colourblindness, certain lenses are available which allow users to experience colours in the way that the rest of the world does. And their effects can be dramatic, powerful and in the video above, emotionally charged.

YouTube user Aaron Williams-Mele was recently filmed trying out a pair of EnChroma Color For The Colorblind glasses. To get the full effect of the glasses’ capabilities, he wore them for the first time while watching a stunning sunset in Norfolk, Virginia. Williams-Mele published the footage on YouTube on August 15, and it has since been viewed over 1.6 million times. As he himself describes it, “it was a pretty emotional experience”.

The benefits of the EnChroma glasses were discovered by accident in 2005 when materials scientist Don McPherson, who created eyewear for doctors to use during laser surgery, was playing frisbee with a friend. McPherson was wearing a pair of his special spectacles as sunglasses when his friend, who was colourblind, asked to borrow them. He discovered that the world was suddenly much more vibrant, with oranges and reds significantly more visible, and soon after McPherson set to work on what would become EnChroma’s life-changing glasses.

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