Polar Bear Fur Is Completely See Through

Grace Higgins | February 8th, 2019

You may not believe it but Polar bear fur is actually completely see-through, though this doesn’t mean they will be green if they stand on a green lawn. They will appear white because of the way light scatters when reflecting off their transparent fur. Okay we lied, they do sometimes look green! But only because when it gets really too hot, polar bears have been known to stick green algae on themselves to keep cool.


Ask anyone what color a polar bear is and they will probably quickly reply that they are white. However, the truth is that their fur is transparent and has no color at all. They appear to be white to the naked eye because their fur reflects the visible light.

Due to their transparent fur, if you were to try to take a photo of a polar bear in infrared light then they would barely show up at all. Though perhaps the most surprising thing is that their skin color is actually black. To creatures and humans that can only see visible light, polar bears are the perfect predator that is able to blend in almost perfectly into their environment.

However, one mammal has evolved to deal with this situation: deer have a visual system that can outsmart the polar bear’s tricky fur. Deer can actually see in ultraviolet light which allows them to see polar bears extremely easily when they appear on top of an icy white backdrop.

When you see a polar bear at the zoo you may be mistaken for thinking they are yellow or green, but this is due to dirt and age. Or unfortunately, in humid and hot temperatures where polar bears are not native, they sometimes start to see algae growing on their skin. And it can also depend on their diet, for example, when they eat a lot of seals then their fur can start to turn yellow due to the seal’s oil.

Next Article
  • Kelly Oubre Torn Meniscus

    Kelly Oubre Jr., the wing for the Phoenix Suns who is a candidate for the Most Improved Player Award at the end of the season, is likely to miss the remainder of the season with a torn right meniscus. The 24-year-old, fifth year player is averaging 18.7 points, 6.4 rebounds and 1.3 steals per game,...

    Read More
  • Simmons, Embiid Injuries

    Ben Simmons, the guard-forward hybrid, is ruled out for two weeks with a nerve infringement in his lower back, while center Joel Embiid is undergoing an MRI later Thursday for a shoulder sprain. Simmons, who is averaging 16.7 points, 7.8 rebounds and 8.2 assists per game this season, is the only reliable playmaker on the...

    Read More
  • The Famous Monopoly Marathon Game

    The Monopoly game in the United States of America, historically, is a replica street by street of the famous Atlantic City, New Jersey. However, the game's truly historical moment may very well have happened in Pittsburgh. It was a Monday, November 27th, 1961 to be exact and four Pittsburgh students sat down to play an...

    Read More
  • LeBron Scores 40 In Zion Matchup

    With the entire NBA world watching, LeBron James responded to the Zion Williamson hype by scoring a game-high 40 points. James, now 35 and in his 17th season, scored at least 30 points for the 18th time this season; the Los Angeles Lakers are 18-0 in those games. This is his season high for points...

    Read More
  • Sixers, Clippers Back On Track

    With overpowering expectations, both the Philadelphia 76ers and Los Angeles Clippers are feeling the heat at this point in the season. Both teams won last night, letting out a sigh of relief after each win. Joel Embiid, who is averaging 23.8 points and 12.0 rebounds per game on 47 percent shooting from the field, scored...

    Read More
  • Beal Scores 53 In Loss

    Bradley Beal, the Washington Wizards guard who was snubbed from this season’s All-Star Game, scored 53 points in a 126-117 loss to the Chicago Bulls. The 26-year-old guard has long been in trade rumors. Since the current injury of guard and teammate John Wall occurred, Beal was been rumored with every championship contender. The Los...

    Read More
  • Westbrook In MVP Form

    The new ultra-smallball approach the Houston Rockets are experimenting with is helping the former MVP Russell Westbrook look like a current MVP. For this season, Westbrook is averaging 27.2 points per game, his third highest scoring season of his career. Even alongside James Harden, who averages 35.2 points per game and a combined 35.1 field...

    Read More
  • Boogie Released By Lakers

    In an effort to free roster space, the Los Angeles Lakers have released DeMarcus Cousins, who hasn’t played since tearing his ACL in the offseason. Cousins has played over 70 games just once since the 2013-2014 season, and that was the 2016-2017 season, when he played 55 games for the Sacramento Kings and then 17...

    Read More