Is The Ocean Blue?

Is The Ocean Blue?

Posted by Seahorse Silks on 4th Jan 2018


I always thought it was blue because it reflected the sky.

They say the Indian Ocean which is the ocean lapping the coast where I grew up, is green.

I didn’t care as long as I got to spend fun filled summer days at the beach swimming in it.

translucent wave at cottesloe beach photographer robyn boothey

The Indian Ocean at Cottesloe, Perth, Western Australia showing definite shades of green.

Later in life I saw the Pacific Ocean which they say is blue. That’s when I really noticed it.

Yep, the Pacific is blue and the Indian is green.

north beach at mana island fiji photographer robyn boothey

The Pacific Ocean taken at Mana Island in Fiji was very blue this particular afternoon.

Since then, I’ve been a bit more observant. Especially since I started photographing it. The same beach or lagoon can be very “blue” one day and astonishingly “green” the next.

Recently I saw the Emerald Coast in Florida. Yep, it’s green. Bright green!

east pass beach destin florida photographer robyn boothey

East Pass Beach, Florida's Emerald Coast, USA was so very lime green I wondered if I'd done something wrong!

So, how come?  Ask good old google.  There is a lot to it. The water of course is clear. Then we have the water absorbing light that arrives in different wave lengths. Apparently the red, orange, yellow and green are longer. For some reason the shorter blue ones are less likely to be absorbed and can penetrate deeper, making deep water look bluer.

bunker bay western australia photographer robyn boothey

One of the most popular colour palettes is this gorgeous aqua blue taken at Bunker Bay, Western Australia.

surfers point margaret river western australia photographer robyn boothey

A little further down the WA coast I found Surfers Point, Margaret River a very vivid blue one day.

Then we have phytoplankton. They absorb reds and blues but reflect greens which explains why seas in which they are thriving look greener.

They seem to be the two main factors but we do of course have my childhood reflecting sky theory as another factor. Then there is sunlight, sand and river sediment.

And that is just too much information for me.

Blue or green, there is something a bit special about it.

They say there is scientific proof it is good for your health to go for a swim in the ocean or a walk along the beach. I don't need data - I know it's good for me.

photographer robyn boothey shooting waves at cottesloe beach western australia