Do you recall the first time you licked a lollipop? The taste as it danced from the tip of your tongue to the back of your throat? The pebbly sweetness racing up to your brain – all to be received like a sugary soup.
Sometimes our sensations are simple – and easily put into words – like, last month’s Halloween licorice tasted sour… and slightly stale.
But then there are those moments where an experience completely overwhelms you, and the language you assumed to have a good command over, fails you miserably.
In these moments, when the language part of your brain completely shuts down, leaving you cold and abandoned to process an experience in its entirety – no inner monologue, no judging the moment – but just living it; in this moment, you are truly in the present.
And this feeling was what The Tennessee Department of Tourist Development set out to recreate earlier this month. Their objective? To offer people with colorblindness the chance to experience the feeling of fall.
Colorblindness comes in many forms, the most common being red-green colorblindness. This affects 1 in 12 men and 1 in 200 women. Contrary to popular belief, most sufferers are not blind to color but merely perceive it poorly; so poorly in fact, that they have trouble differentiating one color from another (especially between red, green and blue).
Each year, the Smokey Mountains attract millions of travelers looking to take in one of the most popular fall foliage landscapes in the world. The best time to catch a glimpse of the leaves in all their glory is between mid-October and early November.
Viewfinders with special color-enhancing technology were set up to allow travelers suffering from protanopia and protanomaly the chance to perceive Tennessee’s scenic viewpoints peppered with hearty reds, maple yellow and golden brown.
You won’t believe what happened next…a whole lot of “oohing” and “aahing” and tears. Who knew seeing red could actually be a good thing? Watch it below!