Beauty Is In The Eye Of The Beholder…World’s Ugliest Color

The world is full of color from painting the landscapes to filling in the textures of Autumn. The world is full of the most beautiful colors every day if we just open our eyes to see them. But, wouldn’t that imply that there are ugly colors as well? How can something be beautiful if there is nothing ugly to contrast against? What would it be? That hideous shade of orange? A glaring red? Or a tepid blue? Read on and find out what the world’s ugliest color is and how it came to be after we look at some of the close runner ups.


I was surprised that puke was actually a color. I am hoping puke got its name because it was similar to the color called puke. I would hate to think that someone actually took the time to create a facsimile of the vile bile just so we could have a color swatch to decorate our home.


It has nothing to do with the legend or the 1980 musical. It is actually the color of the philodendron leaf.


This one comes from the wood of the Millettia laurentii or a legume tree. Aren’t peas legumes? There is a pea tree?

Australian Government

And now, who is responsible for the world’s ugliest color? Down south, there came a need for the world’s ugliest color. Was it national defense? To keep the tourists out? Maybe it was to be the new color of money so people would not want to hang on to it? The real reason is much better than that. It is for healthy reasons. The Australian government is looking for the ugliest color to adorn their cigarette packages. Hoping to cut down on smoking, they are wrapping the nasty little tobacco tubers in a plain brown type of wrapping.  It is working. Sales are dropping off and it is proving so successful that the U.K., Ireland and France have already passed laws to do the same. It may even head to the US of A one day. But what is this ugly color?

Opaque Couche

This is the color that is turning everyone off these days. (It actually can look quite good on a couch) Among thousand of Australian smokers, this color was voted the ugliest color of them all. It seems that it might have a history behind it as well.

A very similar color was once produced upon request of an unnamed department store. It seems the store wanted to encourage workers to remain on post instead of taking such a long bathroom break. After much thought, the color specialist hit upon the solution. Instead of making the work area more pleasant (he must have realized the difficulty of work and pleasant in the same sentence) he decided to make the bathrooms — unpleasant. He decided to paint the walls in a very similar color to Opaque Couche and breaks were soon much shorter. My guess is that in the worker’s eye, they were seeing a much more unpleasant reminder of what they came to the bathroom to do.

And there you have it. Proof that there must be a “world’s ugliest color” all in order to balance the natural beauty of the world. If you ask me, do we really need that balance?  Can’t the world just be beautiful?


What does this color remind you of?