Maya’s Mysteries: Colors of Humanity
“These colors developed. . .due to climates and regions; they have no significance whatsoever.”
Soap bubbles shimmer in colors of the rainbow. Their soapy “skin” can also look clear, black, or iridescent. The colors change with light, thickness, environment, or the color of the liquid.
Human skin color is diverse, too. Like bubbles, where we came from has an impact. Our skin color depends on melanin—a dark pigment that protects us from the sun. Differences in skin color evolved as early humans migrated from Africa to other parts of the world. Some scientists think tropical areas tend to have people with darker skin because more melanin helps them survive harmful levels of ultraviolet (UV) sunlight. Melanin may also preserve the nutrient folic acid, which UV rays can break down.
Lighter skin is often more common in areas with less sun. Our bodies need sunlight to create vitamin D, so less melanin in lighter skin may help people absorb UV light.
Celebrate the colorful human spectrum by making rainbow bubbles with your family and friends.
Make Your Own Rainbow Bubbles
You’ll Need: Small, clean plastic bottle, scissors, white sock, rubber band, bowl, water, dishwashing soap, measuring cup, food coloring*
Step 1: With an adult’s help, cut off bottom of bottle.
Step 2: To make bubble wand, pull sock taut over bottle’s cut end. Fold or cut sock if needed. Secure with rubber band.
Step 3: Mix ½ cup (118 mL) warm water and ¼ cup (59 mL) dishwashing soap in bowl, until soap dissolves.
Step 4: To blow bubbles, dip cloth end into soap and blow into the bottle top (don’t inhale).
Step 5: Dip wand into soap again. Add food coloring to cloth and blow into bottle top. To reuse wand, rinse cloth and let air-dry.
*Caution: Food coloring and colored bubbles may stain skin, clothes, or furniture.
For a printable version, download a PDF of this experimentCharacters301 Maya88 Crafts144 Science137 Oneness of Humanity78 Diversity76 Experiment13 Play and Create539 Maya’s Mysteries64 Race Unity129 STEM194