I have been assembling 80102 Dragon Dance- a beautiful set introduced as an Asia Pacific Exclusive to celebrate the Spring Festival, or Lunar New Year. In this set I finally got to see a round 2×2 tile in the new colour, Vibrant Coral. Introduced with many different elements in the LEGO® Movie 2 set 70828 Pop Up Party Bus, this colour has been described by some as ‘just so neon’ or a little unusual and difficult to photograph.
Googling ‘Vibrant Coral,’ I learned that many corals gain their vibrant colours from zooxanthellae algae. The single celled algae derive their nutrients by using photosynthesis, and the coral provide shelter to the algae in return for some of the nutrients. Death of these algae occur during ‘coral bleaching’ events. Some of these algae produce greater levels of pigments in response to sunlight, and some also demonstrate fluorescence: glowing under ultraviolet light. I am pretty sure, however, that there are no algae growing on my mint from box LEGO Elements.
Looking at these tiles, there is certainly an other wordiness about them and it is difficult to capture its true lines under artificial light alone. I wondered this new colour might fluoresce – like the transparent neon colours. I got out my trusty ultraviolet LED to see if there was anything to suggest why the colour looks a little odd.
You may have seen my article last year on fluorescence in LEGO elements.
Here is a vibrant coral tile next to a few others: orange, spring yellowish green and, trans neon orange and trans blue. Here we have 3 different exposures under UV alone, while the fourth is under white LED light.
Certainly the vibrant coral, as well as the trans neon orange, seems to exhibit fluorescence here. I’d better get back to finishing the Dragon Dance.