What color is blood REALLY?

  • Jenny Ballif
  • Jun 1, 2017

This project all started the day before Valentine’s day, 2017. I woke up with an idea to make a little foldable book about how heart’s work. I enthusiastically got to work drawing little cartoons and coloring, and (barely) finished the book and little video clip in time for Valentine’s Day.

And then one of my patrons told me that something I’d believed all my life was not true: blood was not blue when it didn’t have oxygen. I wondered how widespread the misconception was, and why veins appeared bluish. So I did some research and an informal survey, and made this video:

My mom says she prefers shorter videos. So, just for her, I released an abbreviated 6 minute version:

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Jenny Ballif

Jenny Ballif has worked as a molecular biologist and a wild land firefighter, and at several jobs that fall in between wearing a lab coat and wielding a chainsaw. She is the mother of three kids, wife of one mathematician, and author of several books.