Thursday, February 6, 2014

The Color of Water

(click on any photo to enlarge it)
Oops - Sorry. That was The Color of Money. Whether you prefer older handsome guys, or younger handsome guys - they were all in that movie!
Anyway, my intention was to write about the color of water. "What color," you might ask - "Water has no color, right?"

Right. But, one of the beauties of traveling to places where the water is almost ice-cold is that you get to see the water almost absorbing the colors around them, reflecting them as if they were its own. Take a look at the dance of water and sun, on a cool day over the Antarctic Peninsula:

For some reason, the water is even more colorful than the sky above it - You get the whole palette just like a watchful painter was using his watercolors skilfully. And even when the sun is about to set, the water keeps its color games with it!

(click on any photo to enlarge it)
Speaking of Antarctica, you probably expect to see some snow and ice in the picture, right? Well, even with them, the water has to say a lot about color.

In the meanwhile, on the other side of the globe, summer looks very different. Glacial streams storm down the valleys, carrying what's called "glacial dust" - the powder created by the sheer weight of the ice on top of the bedrock up on the mountains.

In the valleys, the glacial streams meet their pure and innocent relatives - spring water streams. The result is yet another dance of contrasts in the color of water.

A closer look reveals the amount of glacial dust in that stream, when it's meeting the pure water one:

No wonder there are no fish in those streams! (In this case, in Denali National Park in Alaska) There used to be special Dust Fish but even they all died of asthma.

Sometimes, the water goes an extra step and rather than improvising on the colors above it, it just copies them. In the Arctic ocean, there's a thin layer of fresh water (from melted icebergs) on top of the salty seawater. On colder days, when the temperature drops to near freezing, the freshwater freezes faster and makes a huge ice blanket on the ocean. On warmer days, the different density between fresh and salt water makes for a perfect mirror effect:

So perfect, that sometimes you could get vertigo and be completely disoriented between the sky and the ground without flying a plane - Just by paddling in a kayak... But I guess if you were upside down, paddling in a kayak in the Arctic Ocean, you'd know that because you'd freeze in the water.

Other times, it seems the water just decides how to color itself. Sure, it's all about physics. Even physicists have very thoughtful sayings like "the color of the pond depends on its depth" - But that takes all the romance from the photo below (taken in Alaska) - Don't you think? Same pond, only several feet apart, and with no Photoshop...

To read more about the wonders of colors in the water, read my post Mountains In The Sky - With Diamonds

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.