Monday, January 9, 2023

The Orange Chimera

A slice of mutant orange on a light box.

Hey, kids, it's Mutant Monday! 

While working at the food bank last Friday, Karen and I found an orange that was colored half orange, half yellow. I demanded an explanation from the Facebook hive mind, and we settled on two leading possibilities: a botched dye job, occurring when oranges are sometimes dyed a deeper color to make them more attractive for market; or a chimera, a rare mutation in which an organism (it happens in both plants and animals) contains two distinct genotypes--basically, two different critters mushed into one.

Today we cut it open and . . .  it's a chimera! The color contrast goes all the way through to the core. It's a more subtle difference than the skin, but four segments are lighter orange and six segments are darker.

Unfortunately, if Professor Xavier calls asking if our orange can join the X-Men, we will have to decline on account of we ate it. In our final experiment, the two colors of flesh tasted the same.

As an indicator of how exciting my life is, this orange is the most fun I've had in quite a while.

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