Science: 'Extremely rare' pink grasshopper spotted in garden

This mutation turned a grasshopper pink in the United Kingdom

By Angela Garrity, Guest blogger

Erythrism is the mutative condition that appears when animals overproduce red pigments or underproduce dark ones. We see this natural occurrence in wildlife specifically with foxes, raccoons and badgers. It is responsible for some quite distinctive color variations.  

A pink grasshopper sits in a leafy plant in the United Kingdom

In nature, erythrism sprang up recently in a UK garden and gave onlookers something quite unique and extremely rare – a pink grasshopper.

According to Fox News, Kate Culley was helping in her grandmother’s garden in Gloucestershire, when she spotted the grasshopper and was lucky to snap a picture of it before it bounced away.

“I was surprised — you don't expect to see a pink grasshopper," she told the news outlet.

She’s right. Seeing a pink grasshopper is extremely rare. Most are picked off by predators and rarely make it to adulthood. It’s tough for these pink morphs because they stand out so well against their green and brown habitats that occur when they call flora and fauna home. In fact, insect erythrism wasn’t even discovered until 1887, when it was identified in a katydid species.

The wild isn’t the only place where erythrism makes its appearance known. In humans, the genetic mutation is partly responsible for the easily identifiable physical characteristic known as ephelides, or most commonly known as freckles.

While holding super powers aren’t guaranteed, some of us might already be holding these secrets coded in our genes. Missing wisdom teeth, lactose intolerance, baldness, double lashes, cleft chins and dimples are all a few examples of other common mutations found in the human species.

More than likely, you’re a mutant. It is these little nuances that make us vastly different than the other mutant nearby, with their own set of gene pool mashups. Embrace it. Welcome to the X-Men

There is beauty in uniqueness. One must simply look and have the wisdom to see it.

Related: This Iowa teen found a prehistoric jawbone in his yard

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