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written by Sam Greenspan

A hand with yellow green finger nails holding a yellow green nail polish.

A study found which colors make people recoil in horror. I have some thoughts as to why each of the ugliest colors bothers us.

Huge caution: Read this article with your nerves-of-steel mode on.

A massive study revealed the ugliest color in the world. As I delved into the research, I must admit that I was disgusted, and made quite a lot of Yao disgusted face meme. I can only imagine the toll it took on the brave souls who conducted this investigation for three grueling months.

Turns out, the research is for health purposes. It’s for smokers to feel quickly sickened just by the ugly color of the cigarette carton alone.

The study ran in 2016 when the Australian government commissioned GfK to create a packaging that’s repulsive for smokers to buy.

The result got a lot of attention because the winner (or probably loser) was a “dark olive” color and the Australian Olive Association made a fuss about it. You will understand their sentiments a little later.

They finally convinced their government to start referring to the color by a different name. “Dark drab brown” won out. It’s a tongue twister, but you really don’t want that in your tongue.

11 Ugliest Colors on Earth

As I dug deep into the results of the ugly color study, I found enough of the runners-up to “dark drab brown” to put together this list. So ready your Yao disgusted face meme because here are the 11 ugliest colors in the world.

1 | Dark drab brown

The ugliest color in the world, dark drab brown or officially known as Pantone 448 C.

Unpleasant things it evokes: Feces, mud, getting pudding instead of a real dessert.

I have a colleague who works on huge vessels at sea and shared his experience when they were alongside with another ship. While theirs has an orange deck, the one beside them looks like sh*t because of its paint color.

Now you know why the Big Olive doesn’t want to use “dark olive” as the formal title of that color. Aside from being disgusting, it may also be a funny business name.

If you want to explore and play around, the official name for the ugliest color in the world is Pantone 448 C. Its hexadecimal color code is #4a412a, and the RGB code is RGB(74,65,42).

2 | Beige

Beige, the second ugliest color in the world.

Unpleasant things it evokes: Discoloration, internal organs that may or may not be healthy, bad teeth, your coworker’s pants from Old Navy.

I find some people fascinated by the word Beige. But that’s just for the word and when faced with the color itself, they find it unsightly and vaguely familiar, hence the slight disgust.

The reason why Beige is one of the ugliest colors in the world is because it is neutral, dull, or even obnoxious.

3 | Lime green

Lime green color.

Unpleasant things it evokes: Mucus, infection, BP.

When sailors get really seasick during a very rough weather, and all the food they have eaten is vomited due to dizziness, the next thing that comes out of their mouth when they puke is a liquid that is lime green in color.

4 | Mustard yellow

Mustard yellow color is the fourth ugliest color in this list.

Unpleasant things it evokes: Pus, vomit, Pittsburgh sports teams.

Mustard yellow can make you angry, that is, if you are in a room with this as the dominant color. It is one of the most repugnant colors in the world because it is also very tiring to the eyes.

Moreover, it can be associated with the appearance of food that is spoiled or off, which could lead some people to associate the color with disgust or revulsion.

While many people enjoy the taste of mustard in their food, some people find it to be overly pungent, bitter, or unappetizing.

5 | Dark gray

Dark gray color.

Unpleasant things it evokes: Prison, emptiness, almost purely black but not quite enough, so something feels just slightly off, Fifty Shades of Grey.

Now, I probably pissed off a lot of fans (excluding my wife because she doesn’t GAF). But dark gray is very unappealing to begin with. Imagine Christian Grey having a dark gray skin to begin with. The show’s rating would tank… even further!

6 | White

Color white.

Unpleasant things it evokes: Ominously blank classroom walls, boringness, death, iPods that stopped working within a year.

Hospitals, mental hospitals, laboratories, and evil laboratories.

Their dominant color is white, and it’s so neutral that it is deemed ugly. If you’re a neat freak, a single dirt on a white wall or linen could drive you crazy!

7 | Rust

Rust color indicates aging or decay.

Unpleasant things it evokes: Rust.

Rust is an unappealing color because it can be associated with aging, decay, or deterioration, all of which are a global phenomenon. Rust stains are also very difficult to remove, and no matter how “legit” a design is, as long as its color is rust, it will still be perceived as rust stains.

8 | Light olive

Light olive color.

Unpleasant things it evokes: Infection, upset stomach, diarrhea, bad ’70s decor.

You may want to think twice in using this color as a decor in your homes. Light olives evoke the feelings of repulsiveness, especially when used in bathroom tiles.

Remember a time when you rub off dirt thinking that it was just a persistent stain, but turned out to be a part of the design? Light olive actually does that to you.

9 | Orange/red

Orange/ red. One of the ugliest colors due to its "strength."

Unpleasant things it evokes: The really cheap Gilden t-shirts that never quite fit right.

Additionally, a kid wearing an orange/ red shirt which looks like an eyesore in the middle of a fine day.

10 | Faded salmon

Faded salmon color.

Unpleasant things it evokes: The circumference around a pimple, flavorless fish, what it looks like if a fingernail gets ripped off.

*My face after reading that…

A meme of Yao Ming's face which looks disgusted.

11 | Bright magenta

Bright magenta is at the top 11 ugliest color.

Unpleasant things it evokes: Your eyes hurting, frozen yogurt with Nerds mixed in, a middle-aged female art teacher’s shawl.

Not the 1997 film with less than 5 scores in the IMDB ratings. Bright Magenta is a color that conjures the feelings of anxiousness, frustrations, and irritability. Staring at it more closely provokes an overly sweet sensation which leaves a bad taste in the mouth without even nibbling it. Definitely one of the ugliest colors in the world.