Day 106

Day 106


What colour is a Polar Bear?

And no, it’s not white (or off-white or cream)

The answer surprised me.

Though the fur looks white, it’s actually transparent and colourless—and beneath these layers of colourless hairs, their skin is black. Polar bears scatter and reflect light to make their fur appear white so it can blend into the snowy landscape. On a cloudy day they might look grey and at sunset they can sometimes take on an orange or red tone.

Some captive polar bears can turn green. That’s because when they roll around in their concrete pens, their fur can get scratched, forming tiny holes in the hair strands which allow green pond algae to get in.

Scientists tested other white animals to see if their fur was also actually transparent and so far it seems that this quality is unique to polar bears.

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