Sea Pictures IV

“The deep blue water of the open sea far from land is the color of emptiness and barrenness; the green water of the coastal areas, with all its varying hues, is the color of life. The sea is blue because the sunlight is reflected back to our eyes from the water molecules or from very minute particles suspended in the sea. In the journey of the light rays downward into the water and back to our eyes, all the red rays of the spectrum and most of the yellow have been absorbed, so it is chiefly the cool blue light that we see. Where the water is rich in plankton, it loses the glossy transparency that permits this deep penetration of the light rays. The yellow and brown and green hues of the coastal waters are derived from the minute algae and other micro-organisms so abundant there.”

Rachel Carson (1907-64). The Sea Around Us.

“Calm Sea” by Gustave Courbet (1819-77).

Courbet

Published by

Philip Lee

Writer and musician who tries to join up the dots.

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