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Color and depth of waterFeatured science projectScience project video


The hypothesis that the intensity of the color of the red and yellow balls seem to lessen as they go deeper into the water is proven to be correct.

There are a lot of factors that determine the visibility of colors in water. The time of the day will determine the angle that sunlight will enter the water surface. Light penetration takes place most during noon when the sunlight is perpendicular to the water surface. The weather will also determine the amount of sunlight and light penetration in the water. A floodlight can be used to augment the lighting required for this science project.

Also consider

Try to repeat this project  using balls of different colors such as  violet, brown, white, orange and pink.

Would the  results of this experiment differ if it were  done in fresh water instead of sea water.

What if it were performed at night, in the absence of any natural sunlight.


Effects of water depth on color visibility -

Order of loss of visibility of colors under water with depth -

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Complexity level:
Project cost ($):
Time required:
1 day to prepare, 1 day for observation
Material availability:
Scuba diving gear, a boat, and lighting equipment may be rented from a scuba diving rental shop
Safety concerns:

Be extremely careful to ensure the safety of all participants. Life jackets must be worn at all times, and adult involvement is mandatory. The involvement of a qualified and experienced scuba diver is absolutely necessary.