6th - 8th grade
(extensions and differentiation provided to adapt to other grade levels)
Animals throughout the ocean depths are different colors and use different colors of bioluminescence. Why? How?
During this investigation, students explore the phenomenon of light and color in the ocean through sense-making. This process includes investigating how light interacts with different materials, making connections between the observed phenomenon and what happens to light as it passes through the ocean.
Color in the Deep Sea. As one travels from surface waters to deeper waters, the amount and visible colors of light change, because water refracts, absorbs, and scatters wavelengths differently. Red light disappears at a shallower depth in the water column and blue light penetrates deepest. This affects how different colored pigments appear at different depths. Image courtesy of NOAA Ocean Exploration.
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