What Colour is a Polar Bear, White, Yellow or Green?

What colour do you think Polar bear fur is? That might seem like a silly question but the answer might surprise you. HINT: it’s not white! Polar bear fur is actually clear! That’s right! CLEAR!
polar bear
But if the Polar bear’s skin is black, how come they don’t look black in colour? Well, each of the longer guard hairs on the Polar bear’s body is hollow and reflects visible light, much like snow. So when the sun is shining brightly, Polar bears appear bright white.

Polar Bear, Algae, Green

This polar bear has algae growing in its hair. Photo Credit: Steven Pierson

Since these hairs are hollow, the Polar bears’ diet and environment can affect their colour. Polar bears whose diet has a lot of seals in it can look light yellow because of the seal oils. Polar bears that live in warmer climates (like in zoos) can have algae growing in their hair, which can make them look green! Don’t worry, being green doesn’t cause the Polar bear any harm and a bath with special salt solution turns them white again.

 
 
 

Looking for more details? Check out this article where we dive deeper into the science behind why Polar bears look white!

Earth Rangers is a non-profit organization that works to inspire and educate children about the environment. At EarthRangers.com kids can play games, discover amazing facts, meet animal ambassadors and fundraise to protect biodiversity.
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116 Comments

  1. BestFriend55555 says:

    that is COOL!!!

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    Rating: 5.0/5 (3 votes cast)
  2. JessiJames says:

    I have no donations and ive been a member for almost 2 years, and still NOT A SINGLE DONATION. HELP ME PLEASE, and this articule is awesome!!!!!!

    [Reply]

    ER_Bubbles Reply:

    Hi JeesiJames! You’ve been an Earth Rangers for almost 2 years!? That’s amazing! You must love protecting animals. Don’t worry if you don’t have any donations because being an Earth Ranger isn’t just about fundraising. It’s also about educating people. If you can encourage people to keep protecting animals and their habitats, then you are a great Earth Ranger. Keep up the great work!

    P.s. We are glad you liked the article. Did you know polar bears could be green? I didn’t!

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  3. Ranger56150320 says:

    interesting

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  4. Ranger56152900 says:

    I knew that already

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    Rating: 4.8/5 (4 votes cast)
  5. ripy says:

    its Avis that its whte

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    Rating: 5.0/5 (3 votes cast)
  6. Ranger56157410 says:

    its white not white k what r u looking after

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    Rating: 4.5/5 (2 votes cast)
  7. Ranger56160276 says:

    that’s so cool i didn’t know that polar bears could be green!!!!

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    Rating: 5.0/5 (1 vote cast)
  8. Ranger56161530 says:

    wow…OMG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  9. Ranger56168201 says:

    wow

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  10. kenziewezie says:

    that is soooooooooooooooooo sooooooooooooooooooo cool I did not know polar bears could be green!

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    Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)

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