Enjoying science play and simple experiments with children is a fun and easy opportunity to foster their curiosity and problem solving skills.

Polar bears’ hair may seem white, but is actually transparent. When light travels through the hair it gets bent around so much it appears white.

Suitable for ages:
Primary and up
Time required:
10 mins
1 out of 5
Related Programs: Elysium Arctic

Water experiment: how light bends

Polar Science Experiment: why do polar bears look white? 

What You'll Need:
  • A cup
  • Water
  • A sheet of paper with 2 arrows pointing the same direction

To Do The Experiment:

Place the sheet of paper with arrows standing up. Place the glass in front of it. Pour water into the glass up to halfway. 
One arrow is pointing the opposite direction now. How does that happen? Water causes light to bend and created visual illusions. See if you can draw a diagram of what is happening to the light here.

Polar Science Experiment: why do polar bears look white?

We’d love to see your creations! 

Please send us photos either by email to: web@sea.museum or tag us on Instagram - just tag the photo with our username @sea.museum

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