Is the Ocean Actually Blue?

Have you ever wondered why the ocean water appears blue? Is this actually true or is it an illusion? Let’s find out.

Generally, the colors we see each ocean as is the color that is being reflected from it. The ocean color is determined by what is in the ocean, the color that it absorbs, and the color it reflects.


Oceans containing lots of phytoplankton will be seen as green. The chlorophyll in these tiny plants causes them to absorb blue light and reflect a kind of yellowish-green light. This is why such oceans are seen as green oceans.


Some oceans may have some reddish color. This is not necessarily blood, but could also be organisms referred to as the dinoflagellates. The reddish appearance indicates that the ocean contains lots of dinoflagellates. Dinoflagellates are reddish.


The blue color observed in many oceans indicates the absence of tiny plants referred to as phytoplankton. When they are absent in oceans, the light from the sun goes through a certain depth of the ocean and hits the water molecules. These water molecules in return absorb red lights and reflect blue light. This makes the water look bluish.


Oceans may be sometimes appear brownish at places close to the shore. This is usually so when the sediments at the bottom of the ocean are stirred, and the whole thing mixes up with the water. At times the sediments lying at the bottom are not stirred, but new sediments are finding their way into the ocean through rivers and streams.