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.
You May Also Like
DEC 12, 2020
Space & Astronomy
Superhighways in Space Enable Super Fast Travel Between Planets
DEC 12, 2020
Superhighways in Space Enable Super Fast Travel Between Planets
Astronomers from Serbia have found that invisible structures created by gravitational interaction in our Solar System ge ...
APR 09, 2021
Plants & Animals
Speedbumps Reduce Endangered Red Colobus Deaths
APR 09, 2021
Speedbumps Reduce Endangered Red Colobus Deaths
The endangered Zanzibar red colobus is a rare primate that lives only in the Zanzibar archipelago. New research from Ban ...
MAY 21, 2021
Space & Astronomy
Alien Radioactive Element Discovered on Earth for First Time
MAY 21, 2021
Alien Radioactive Element Discovered on Earth for First Time
  Researchers from Australian National University have discovered the first ever extraterrestrial radioactive isoto ...
MAY 23, 2021
Space & Astronomy
Why Do Some Stars Vanish from Space?
MAY 23, 2021
Why Do Some Stars Vanish from Space?
Current theories suggest that stars undergo changes on timescales of millions or billions of years, and that their end i ...
JUN 04, 2021
Plants & Animals
What Elephant Trunks Teach Science about Suction
JUN 04, 2021
What Elephant Trunks Teach Science about Suction
How an elephant picks up a tortilla chip could inspire next-generation suction technology.
JUN 05, 2021
Space & Astronomy
Did Heat from Asteroids Provide the Building Blocks for Life on Earth?
JUN 05, 2021
Did Heat from Asteroids Provide the Building Blocks for Life on Earth?
Researchers from Kobe University in Japan have found that heat generated by the impact of small astronomical bodies coul ...
Loading Comments...