Skip to Content

Is the color of pomegranates silent?

Pomegranates have long been a symbol of health, fertility and prosperity in many cultures. Their vibrant red color comes from the antioxidants and phytochemicals concentrated in their arils, the seed pods inside the fruit. But does this rich color represent something more – could it have a sound or voice of its own? Let’s explore the mystical qualities of the pomegranate and see what secrets its scarlet hue might reveal.

The Significance of the Pomegranate

The pomegranate originated in the Middle East and has been cultivated since ancient times. In Greek mythology, the pomegranate represents life, death and rebirth. The fruit is also a symbol of fertility, which is reflected in its abundance of seeds and associations with feminine goddesses like Demeter, Aphrodite and Persephone. In Judaism and Christianity, pomegranates are said to have 613 seeds, representing the 613 commandments. In Islam, the Qur’an describes pomegranates growing in the gardens of paradise. Across these cultures, the pomegranate has long been prized for its sweet-tart flavor, nutritional benefits and symbolic values.

But why is the pomegranate so deeply red? This vibrant color signifies the plant’s production of potent antioxidants called polyphenols, including tannins and anthocyanins. These compounds give pomegranate juice and arils their astringent taste and provide a variety of health benefits. Anthocyanins are also what give blueberries, raspberries, cranberries and other fruits their rich ruby and purple colors. The pomegranate’s seductive hue and associations with blood and fertility imbue it with a sense of magic and mystery.

The Sound of Synesthesia

Synesthesia is a rare neurological condition in which stimulation of one sense involuntarily triggers another sensory pathway. People with synesthesia may taste words, hear colors or see music. The mixing of the senses in this way gives new perspectives on ordinary objects. Synesthetes who associate specific colors with certain sounds may provide insight into whether the scarlet pomegranate has an unheard “sound.”

Color Associated Sound Synesthetes Hear
Red Trumpets, sirens, alarm bells
Orange Muted trombone
Yellow High piano notes, squeaking
Green Violin, acoustic guitar
Blue Flute, whistling
Purple Low hum, cello

Based on these associations, the bold red of pomegranates may “sound” like blaring trumpets or alarms going off. The sharp, attention-grabbing tone fits the pomegranate’s symbolism of fertility and new life. Other synesthetes describe red as eliciting ringing bells, beeps or sirens. The pomegranate’s succulent red arils do seem to shout for attention.

Meanings in Marketing

Companies use color psychology in branding to evoke certain feelings and associations in customers. Red is an energetic, passionate color often used for excitement and urgency. The rich red of pomegranates has made them popular for products positioning themselves as superfoods. Brands like POM Wonderful, Purely Pomegranate and Pomegreat feature images of red pomegranates or juice. This color choice emphasizes the fruit’s health benefits and conveys a sense of vitality.

Sound is also an important branding component. Some brands create unique audio logos or sonic identifiers that instantly evoke their image and promise. The Pavlovian response to sound can make a brand, product or slogan more memorable. If pomegranates do inherently come with a synesthetic tone for some, leaning into that sound could be an interesting way for superfruit brands to shape unique identities.

Brand Sonic Logo Notes
Intel Chimes Evokes reliability, technology
Nokia Short guitar riff Simple, memorable melody
Coca-Cola “Sss-cahh” fizz/pop sound Captures refreshing carbonation sensation

Pomegranate Symbolism in Art

The pomegranate’s unique color and form have captured the imagination of artists for centuries. The fruit appears in paintings, sculpture and artifacts across many cultures. In some eras it represented life and fertility, while later Christian artists used it to symbolize resurrection, eternal life and the hope of heaven.

One of the most famous depictions is in Sandro Botticelli’s painting “Madonna of the Pomegranate” (1487). The Virgin Mary is pictured serenely holding baby Jesus while angels celebrate around her. She gazes down at a ripe pomegranate in her other hand, representing Christ’s Passion and resurrection. The angels’ trumpets in the background seem to echo the trumpeting sound of the fiery red pomegranate bursting with life.

More abstract artists like Georgia O’Keeffe have also embraced the pomegranate as a subject. Her painting “Inside the Pomegranate” (1919) depicts an open but barely identifiable pomegranate with intensely red crevices, vivid seeds and hints of the white pith. She transforms realistic detail into a bold exploration of color and form. The layers of red symbolize the concealment within revelation. O’Keeffe’s work reveals a passion and emotional resonance normally associated with this color.

Pomegranates in Poetry and Prose

The pomegranate’s dramatic hue and symbolic meanings have made it a favorite topic of poets, authors and writers. It shows up in lines from Homer’s Odyssey to T.S. Eliot’s “The Waste Land” as an omen, temptation or prize. One famous example is the Song of Solomon, in which the man romantically exclaims, “Your lips are like a scarlet thread, and your mouth is lovely. Your temples behind your veil are like the halves of a pomegranate.” Here, the fruit represents feminine beauty, fertility and desirability.

Persian mystic poet Rumi uses the pomegranate as a metaphor for divine sweetness and spiritual knowledge in his poem “A Pomegranate”: “A pomegranate, whole and cleft open/Of crimson counsel, cynosure of a kingdom,/its seeds/Arranged in logical lines/Neat concentrate of juice,/World-Tamer…” By splitting open the pomegranate’s red chambers, divine understanding is revealed.

In Ray Bradbury’s dystopian novel Fahrenheit 451, pomegranates represent how books provide rich sustenance for the mind. Protagonist Montag relishes “The fresh crimson of pomegranates/…their juice stained his fingers and the colors of art stained his dreams.” The lush, sanguine color symbolizes how books transport people to new worlds.

Gleaming Ruby Arils

As a glittering ruby-red jewel of a fruit, the pomegranate has built up ages of lore and symbolism across many cultures. Its patterns of seeds inspire visual artworks, while its succulent red juice stains poetry and prose. Though the pomegranate’s hue may not literally make a sound, synesthetes and artists suggest it conveys a sense of trumpets, alarms or bells calling out. The flavor, color and form of this ancient superfruit certainly capture the human imagination. Its unique qualities will likely continue inspiring our senses – both seen and unseen.

So while the pomegranate’s scarlet color may not produce a true audible sound, it resonates symbolically with meanings of life, fertility, spirituality and creativity. The rich red arils bursting forth from their compartmentalized chambers represent revelation, passion and the awakening of the senses. The pomegranate’s voice comes through most strongly when we bite into its juicy flesh and contemplate its secrets and mythology. Its flavor stirs emotions and memories, and its hue kindles new sparks of thought and imagination. In this way, each person tasting and beholding it may hear their own version of the pomegranate’s mythical sound.