Re: Why is the sea blue?
Date: Mon Feb 16 11:20:53 1998
Posted By: Dan Berger, Faculty Chemistry/Science, Bluffton College
Area of science: Biochemistry
> Why is the sea
There are two reasons for the color of the sea; both of them contribute to
A. The sea reflects the sky.
- You have probably noticed that the sea is not very blue-looking
when the sky is overcast. Water reflects and scatters the light that
strikes it; this is shown by the fact that you can see your reflection in
puddles. When the sky is brilliant blue, the sea is also, because it
reflects the blue of the sky. A good answer to why the sky is blue has already been posted at MADSci.
- Blue light is more easily bent, or refracted, than red light;
thus, light refracted back from the surface of the sea appears blue.
Furthermore, when you are underwater the water around you appears blue
because more blue light is scattered back to your eye than red light. Here
are some professional
shots to show what I mean.
The scattering of light by the air, or by water, is called Rayleigh scattering.