Many sea creatures living on the coral reefs adopt a very effective camouflage strategy. Believe it or not, they utilize the colors in the warm range – bright oranges and reds to protect themselves from predators. How could orange be a camouflage color, you might ask? Well, ocean water absorbs light – the greater the depth the darker it gets in general, but the water also absorbs wavelengths of light in a specific way. Longer wavelengths are absorbed first and on the light spectrum, those wavelengths produce the colors of light. From longest to shortest in our visible light range we see red, orange, yellow, green, blue and finally purple. So at a depth of 15 feet, reds disappear, and our color for this week’s challenge, orange, disappears at 25 feet!
Our fishy friends have evolved to display brilliant colors that literally blend with their environment – the water! This strategy helps to protect them from larger predators including Mr. Shark! Here are just three wonderfully orange creatures from my underwater adventures. Oh, and by the way, most divers carry an underwater light with them (mine’s on my camera frame) so they can see these spectacular colors in the muted ocean waters even during daytime dives.
To learn more about the Weekly Photo Challenge, click here.