Life in colors. Today, Red

Red, the color of human blood, symbolizes passion, fire, love, and anger. In Eastern cultures, it connotes luck and prosperity. Red occurs throughout nature, from dying stars to dying leaves, and humans have evoked its powers for everything from politics to sports.

Here, a brilliant red sea fan coral spreads behind a golden damselfish in waters off Fiji’s Namenalala Island.

Iron-rich rocks create a rust-red creek bed for fast-flowing waters in Alberta’s Waterton Lakes National Park. The Canadian park lies across the international border from Montana’s Glacier National Park. Photograph by Michael Melford

Kenya’s Lake Magadi blushes under a bacteria bloom following a rainstorm. The extremely salty, alkali lake holds little life, but its waters are a favorite spot for wading birds. Photograph by Emory Kristof

A triplefin fish is nearly indistinguishable from the bright red sponge on which it rests. This shot was taken on the pristine reefs around the Tukangbesi Islands, protected by an Indonesian national marine park. Photograph by Tim Laman

Darkness lends a reddish tint to sea oats bending with storm-whipped winds in Saxis, Virginia. The salt-loving tall grass thrives in beach ecosystems and helps to form and protect sand dunes by collecting windblown grains. Photograph by Medford Taylor

A brilliant red sea star lies amid algae-covered rocks in the waters off Vancouver Island, Canada. The invertebrates use some colors to scare off potential predators and other hues to blend in with their surroundings. Photograph by Nick Norman

A glowing keyhole arch and dusty-red walls frame the minaret of Al Berdain Mosque in Meknès, Morocco. The arch’s lighting also suggests a crescent moon, one of Islam’s traditional symbols. Photograph by Thomas J. Abercrombie

A red car sits on a dirty and deserted side street in communist East Berlin. East and West Germany were reunited in 1990 after 45 years of separation following the end of World War II. Photograph by Ed Kashi

Musical legend Chuck Berry holds his cherry-red guitar during a performance at a music festival in Aspen, Colorado. With early classics like „Rock, Rock, Rock,” „Go, Johnny, Go!” and „Johnny B. Goode,” Berry is considered one of rock-and-roll’s pioneers. Photograph by Joel Sartore

A geisha in Kyoto, Japan, applies the blood-red lipstick that completes her traditional makeup. Modern geisha carry on an ancient profession; they privately entertain Japan’s rich and powerful men and maintain total confidentiality. Photograph by Jodi Cobb

A Maryland maple tree shows off the flaming foliage beloved by „leaf-peepers.” Experts say most people judge the quality of each autumn’s foliage by the prevalence of red leaves. Photograph by Al Petteway

Nothing can dampen the enthusiasm of Taipei schoolchildren gathered for a celebration of Double Ten, Taiwan’s national day. Double Ten remembers the October 10, 1911, revolution that ended China’s last dynasty. Photograph by Jodi Cobb