Giving colourful roses is seen as a romantic thing to do, but would your partner be as pleased if the roses were completely black? You may think that I’m talking about taking a can of spray paint to a bunch of robots, but the rose you see above actually exists and is completely natural.
These black roses are so rare that they only appear around a town of about 8,500 people. The land around Halfeti, Turkey produced these unique specimens thanks to the soil conditions there. The PH levels of the groundwater produced by the river Euphrates is what causes the roses to take on such a strange colour. When they bloom in spring they begin as a dark red colour, before fading to black as the summer progresses.
Unfortunately the roses are now an even rarer sight than ever before, all thanks to the actions of humans. The valley where Halfeti is located was flooded in 1999 as part of the Southestern Anatoli project, part of which involved building several dams. While Halfeti is an ancient town that dates back to 855 BC, the Turkish government still decided to flood it anyway and the residents were relocated above the rising waters into New Halfeti; 10 kilometers away.
The black roses were caught up in the floods, although villagers took some to replant in the new village. The new environment wasn’t the best for the roses though, and they suffered from a steady decline until district officials stepped in to save the roses. Seedlings were collected and replanted in greenhouses closer to their original positions. This has somewhat improved their existence, but they’re still a lot less common than they used to be in the area (and that wasn’t exactly all that common to begin with).
They’d definitely make a great prop for Halloween!