Ever wonder why the Caribbean water is so blue?
There are actually a lot of factors that contribute to the Caribbean sea being so clear.
We finally set out to research the exact reasons why this is the case.
So, in this article, we list the reasons why the Caribbean water is so blue.
Below is our short summary of the question…
Why is the Caribbean water so blue?
The general reason why the ocean water is blue is because of the absorption and scattering of light, similarly to why the sky is blue.
However, a few factors come in to play for why the Caribbean is that (lighter) blue.
First, it has shallow depths, allowing the sun to shine down to the light-colored sand or coral reef, reflecting that turquoise blue color.
Another reason is the small amount of phytoplankton (algae), which results in the water being clearer than most places in the world.
1. Shallow Depths
Most of the Caribbean has that turquoise blue color because of the shallow depths.
The deeper the ocean, the deeper the shade of blue because the sunlight can’t reach the bottom. When the water is deeper, it absorbs all the sun rays, creating a darker shade.
So the more shallow the water, the lighter the blue.
2. Light-Colored Sand & Coral
When the sun rays hit the bottom, the light-colored sand & coral become another factor in turning the Caribbean that turquoise blue.
The sun reflects off the sand & coral, causing a lighter blue to appear. The lighter the sand & coral, then the lighter the shade of blue.
3. Small amount of Phytoplankton
Phytoplankton is a small microscopic single-celled plant that contains a green pigment called chlorophyll. This is the same pigment that plants contain to capture energy for photosynthesis.
Even though these organisms are microscopic, they still have a big factor to do with the shade of color, especially when they’re abundant in large numbers.
They reflect green, causing the ocean to turn a greener color. So because there is a smaller amount of them in the Caribbean, the ocean is clearer and bluer.
4. Resuspension of sand
You’ve probably noticed that where the waves crash, the water clarity is a bit foggier than other areas. That’s because of the resuspension of the sand.
When the waves crash and then reform, it sucks up the sand, creating a foggier watercolor. Just another factor when it comes to the clarity and color of the water.
Different areas in the Caribbean have slightly different watercolor due to the area’s currents.
There can be currents that suck a good amount of organisms into shallow depths, which can be a factor in the watercolor. As stated above, when there’s more phytoplankton, the water turns green.
All of these factors combined, make the Caribbean water that beautiful shade of blue. Its clarity and color are one of the main reasons tourists visit it year after year.
What’s Your Favorite Caribbean Island?
References: Ocean Color by Nasa Science
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