JAN 02, 2018 7:38 PM PST

The True Color of Polar Bear Fur Explained

WRITTEN BY: Anthony Bouchard


When most people think of polar bears, they typically envision a white bear residing in the Arctic region of the world. Despite popular belief, however, polar bear fur isn't actually white.

While polar bear fur looks white most of the time, their fur color can change depending on the environment around them. Sometimes polar bear fur looks grey, green, orange, or even yellow just to name a few.

Polar bear fur is mostly transparent, and it's hollow by nature. These properties allow surrounding light and other qualities to influence the fur's color. Wondering what yields each of these colors? Here's a summary:

• White: natural sunlight strikes the fur, and this light is pure white
• Gray: occurs on cloudy days when sunlight isn't plentiful
• Green: sometimes happens with zoo-kept polar bears when algae stains their fur
• Orange: can appear during sunset hours when the sunlight seems redder than usual
• Yellow: occurs from oil stains from the bear's last meal

Polar bears are interesting creatures indeed.

About the Author
  • Fascinated by scientific discoveries and media, Anthony found his way here at LabRoots, where he would be able to dabble in the two. Anthony is a technology junkie that has vast experience in computer systems and automobile mechanics, as opposite as those sound.
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