What Colour is Water?
Yes, this may seem like rather an obvious question, but maybe the answer will surprise you! In today’s blog post, we are going to give you the lowdown on the colour of water, and the fascinating science behind it. Strap your scuba gear on and prepare to dive in, because oh buoy this is going to be interesting…
Sorry, we had to.
So What Colour Is Water?
For all intents and purposes, water itself is indeed blue. This is only partially caused by the blue reflection of the sky when talking about oceans but is instead mostly due to the light that water molecules absorb.
Although weak, water molecules have an affinity for absorbing light at the red end of the spectrum; the absence of colour leads to the perceived colour.
You’re probably disagreeing with us here, seeing as water in small quantities or water looked at with an angle, appears colourless to the human eye! This, however, is simply due to the lack of intense colour.
This is why it is much more common for us to perceive water in its true blue glory when looking at swimming pools, lakes, and oceans.
Despite all of this, some things can alter water’s natural colour.
How Can Water’s Colour Change?
The Havasu Falls is a good example to look at for this short segment.
The water within the falls has a high concentration of lime, causing the pool to appear more turquoise rather than deep blue.
Other sediments and minerals can also cause water to change, leaving visible particles in the water. When air becomes trapped in water, it can also present a milky white colour.
Other things, including algae, plants, and bacteria can have massive effects on the colour of the water. This is best seen within the Cao Cristales River in Columbia or within the pink lakes of Victoria, Australia.
Can Water’s Colour Change Based On Form?
Whilst H2O will always maintain its intrinsic blue colour, that doesn’t mean that we can’t still perceive it differently, as we have already discovered.
Ice is a great example to cover here! The large sheets of ice, such as those you might see when listening to our friend David Attenborough, will appear white due to air bubbles and compacted snow.
Likewise, glaciers will also appear white from a distance; this can also be explained by compacted snow but is also due to rays of light. Up close, however, glaciers show their true colours, but this is only when shielded from any direct light.
So there you have it – the fun facts behind the colour of water. We hope you have enjoyed another foray into the wonderful world of water facts! If you want to drink the purest blue water you can, be sure to check out our water filters here, or give us a call at 01462 455772 for more information.
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