Origin of purple

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 The color purple has often been regarded

as a symbol of wealth and power, but the

dye used to produce it did not have an

elegant beginning. An ancient people living

along the coast of the Mediterranean Sea

first discovered how to make the dye from

Murex snails, small sea animals with hard

 shells. Unlike other snails, Murex snails

give off a strong-smelling liquid that

changes color when it comes into contact

with air and light. From this liquid the

people produced the purple dye. If we

visit the places where the dye was

produced, we might still be able to see

the shells of Murex snails. Let us hope

we cannot smell them.