Why Is the Ocean Blue?

There is a good possibility that you would respond that the color of the ocean is blue if someone asks you what color it is. Your response would be suitable for the majority of the seas across the planet.

If there is a lot of water and the water is intense such that there are no reflections off the sea bottom, the water will seem to be a very dark navy blue color or light blue sometimes. Pure water, on the other hand, will be completely transparent.

In this article, we’ll get into the depths of this question.

So, without any further ado, let’s get rolling!

Why Is the Ocean Blue in Color?

Why Is the Ocean Blue in Color?
Why Is the Ocean Blue in Color?

If you’ve taken a science class, you’ve probably heard of the phenomena known as Raleigh scattering, which explains why the sky is blue. To put it another way, the atmosphere scatters blue light more than red light because of the difference in wavelengths. The blue light from the ocean returns when the white light of the sun goes into the ocean. When we cast our gaze upward, we notice a blue color in the sky.

However, the angle at which sunlight enters the atmosphere drastically alters during sunrise and sunset. As a result, most of the blue and green light spectrum is scattered even before reaching the lower atmosphere, which is why we see more red and orange colors in the sky during these times.

If you have thought the ocean is blue because it reflects part of the blue light that comes from the sky, then you have to read a lot. This presents the ideal chance to validate the impact that it made. However, the primary cause is the absorption of red light, which has a longer wavelength.

Compared to blue, red has a far higher absorption rate in water. Because of this, the water swiftly absorbs red light, which causes it to reflect blue. When light strikes the ocean, the molecules that make up the water can take up some of the photons emitted by the light.

What Causes It Exactly?

What Causes It Exactly?
What Causes It Exactly?

Ocean has an essential light-absorbing substance for lights of longer wavelengths so it takes the lights of blue wavelengths.

When it comes to seas of a greater depth, not all the wavelengths can entirely pass through the medium. For example, an excessive number of water molecules are blocking the path of the photons. This helps explain why shallower seas have a paler blue hue than those deeper. Less absorption implies less reflection.

There is a connection between the color of the water and the color of the sky above. On the other hand, none depend on the other for their existence; in both instances, the color blue of the sea is due to the absorption of red light with longer wavelengths.

The sole condition necessary for successfully absorbing red light is that the water is in its purest form. Otherwise, the light reflected off the muck, algae, and other contaminants in the ocean would cause the blue color of the water.

Why Is the Ocean Blue but Water Clear?

Many people are under the impression that the sea reflects the sky, which causes them to believe that the sea is blue incorrectly. However, the color of clean water is very faintly blue. It is only so faint that when there is a very tiny amount of it, it seems to be noticeable.

The water’s primary color is blue because it scatters blue light while absorbing light of other colors, including red, yellow, and green color. This is because blue light travels in shorter, smaller wavelengths of visible light that disperse more than longer, larger waves.

When just a small quantity of water is present, it will look clear since there will be very little light refraction. Because there are more water molecules for light to hit with bigger volumes of water, there is a corresponding increase in the amount of blue light scattered. For example, imagine that you are standing some distance away from a tree and tossing a bucket full of tennis balls towards it; the likelihood is that the majority of the balls will not hit the tree and will continue on their way.

If you stand in the middle of a forest and toss tennis balls, a greater percentage of the balls will strike the trees and bounce back. What happens when light hits water molecules is precisely the same: more water molecules in the path means more light particles clash with them and are dispersed, making the water look darker.

There are, of course, a variety of other factors that may affect the color of the water. For example, a similar thing may happen on the ocean floor when there is a lot of silt and muck present; this is particularly true after a storm that has churned up a lot of material from the bottom. Because algae possess chlorophyll pigment, they can transform the color of the water into green.

Due to the presence of red pigments in some species of algae, the color of the water may even become affected. These organisms are often dangerous, and when they reproduce, they produce what we call a “red tide,” which gives the impression that the water in the ocean has become crimson.

Why Is the Pacific Ocean Bluer Than the Atlantic?

Why Is the Pacific Ocean Bluer Than the Atlantic?
Why Is the Pacific Ocean Bluer Than the Atlantic?

Coastal and shallow water in the Atlantic has a greenish hue, whereas deep-ocean water is a dark blue (about 50 miles east of Virginia). Because the inshore/coastal waters of the Pacific Ocean are substantially deeper than the shallow coastal waters of the East Coast of the Atlantic, the Pacific’s waters are dark blue.

Final Words

Put an end to the misconception that a blue ocean indicates a clean and safe ocean while a green or brown sea suggests the opposite. The fact that the water has a given hue does not in any way, shape, or form indicate that it is free of harmful substances or completely clean. Do you have any idea what causes it?

There is nothing else to blame but the enormous quantity of trash floating about and harming marine life. Swimming in a dirty brown ocean is preferable to a blue sea that people have turned into a garbage dump.

Therefore, the next time you swim in a murkier or greener ocean, it does not always indicate that the water is grosser, dirtier, or less deserving of your enjoyment. Unless they are deemed the most hazardous waters in the world or are full of plastics and waste, they are risk-free and uncontaminated.