What colour is water? © Getty Images

What colour is water?

The kids were right! It turns out that reaching for that blue crayon to colour in water is the right choice after all.

Asked by: Ashley Martin, Hampshire

Advertisement

We usually think of water as a colourless liquid, but it’s not true. When white light is shone through a long column of the stuff, the liquid is faintly blueish. That’s because the water mops up the longer, redder wavelengths of light, leaving the bluer wavelengths unscathed. As with so many of its properties, however, water does this in a bizarre way, with the light energy being absorbed by its V-shaped H2O molecules, which start to vibrate as a result.


Advertisement

Subscribe to BBC Focus magazine for fascinating new Q&As every month and follow @sciencefocusQA on Twitter for your daily dose of fun facts.