Red is a primary color, one of three. Coloratus in Latin means "colored" but also means red. It is a primordial color, despite being commonly found in flowers. The color of blood.

So it is curious that as The Animation Works tweeted yesterday, if you type in the kid-with-a-calculator style spelling of "b1000d" with the extra zero for the hexcode format, you get a bright red color.

 

Tweets started by The Animation Works, myself (@FlyingTrilobite) and Scientific American's Design Director, Michael Mrak.

Click this image to go to http://html-color-codes.info/ to type your own in and try it.

Yet my searching for this origin has turned up fruitless. My Google-fu has failed me. In a system where #000000 is black and #ffffff is white, is #b1000d just a coincidence? With all the possible combinations of 6 letters and numbers that could look like words, is it just a statistical probability one of them would describe a color? Wouldn't a blood-color be slightly darker?

It doesn't add up. Here's a partial list on WikiHow, and very few of them have a corresponding color. This feels built in to the system.

Hexcode #b1000d

 

Note: throughout this post it was incredibly hard for me to remain consistent on the American spelling "color". Uuuugh.